When covering news of LG’s Q3 financial results, we noted that those results had been bogged down by LG’s massive spending in its marketing campaigns of the company’s flagship smartphone, LG G2. 200 million won was the figure we quoted as having been spent on just marketing the G2. Did that huge sum really have an impact? Figures released by a market research firm and published by Korean journal Asia Today confirm that the opposite is true. Maybe according to LG selling 2.3 million units of the G2 in just four months is an incredible achievement but for someone who keeps a keen eye on the mobile space, for a device as extraordinary as the G2, that’s lacklustre. There’s just no better way of putting it.
Barely selling 600,000 units in its home market of Korea and falling short of the internal set target of 3 million units globally in its first sales quarter, you cannot hide the fact that the G2 has failed to hit the right nerves. Even after going overboard with all manner of marketing stunts to promote the device including smearing mud on some competing devices and companies and even offering to swap the G2 for other high end devices, that is all that there is. The LG G2 is one beastly device on paper since it packs all the specifications that gadget freaks will drool over and a new design that is a complete departure from the conventional smartphone volume and power button arrangement. It seems that was not enough to entice consumers.
In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 managed to sell 500,000 units in its home market of Korea in just two months while topping the 20 million units mark in the same period of time. Remember it shipped 10 million in its first month of sales. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 3 which was unveiled just a few weeks after the G2 shipped 5 million units in its first month. Other notable devices like the Apple iPhone 5s even have numbers that will put anyone to shame.
Though those sales numbers may be disappointing, LG made all the right moves as far as that device is concerned this year. I am not so sure if their marketing was on point thanks to the many gaffes that have dogged such campaigns but with LG being right on time with its firmware updates this time round if the same continues next year then LG could be in for some pleasant times. The LG G2 is one solid device with a display, processor and camera that is to die for (at least for us who love devices that much). As much as they spent a lot of money this year marketing the G2, still that is not enough if they really want to compete with the likes of Samsung which has a huge marketing budget and Apple which enjoys a lot of free positive publicity thanks to its legendary status of making premium and classy devices and software. Oh, and that ugly custom user interface is to blame for a few things too. While other custom skins like Samsung’s TouchWiz and Huawei’s Emotion are not likeable either, LG’s takes the crown as the ugliest you can ever find. Of course that statement is subjective since I am sure there are guys out there (hands up!) who appreciate it. Its a long dusty road LG.