[Newsmaker] LG to shift strategy on money-losing smartphone

LG breaking from annual smartphone launch cycle, releasing more variants

LG went to the CES 2018 event to launch a number of products including the LG WK9 ThinQ Google Assistant touchscreen speaker, ThinQ smart kitchen appliances, ThinQ AI technology, new α (Alpha) 9 processor, and the LG V30 Raspberry Rose. "But we will not launch it just because other rivals do", he said.

While we found that LG particularly hit it out of the park with the V30 a year ago, the Korean company's smartphone division continues to report financial loses.

The news was revealed by the Korea Herald, who queried LG's Vice Chairman Cho Sung-jin at CES on the expected launch date of the G7 smartphone. LG might not adhere to a strict yearly release cycle, but that doesn't mean that we won't see a new flagship the LG G7 or LG V40 released this year. "We plan to retain existing models longer by, for instance, unveiling more variant models of the G series or V series", Cho suggested. No wonder the company's mobile business has lost money for 11 straight quarters.

The CEO didn't cite the financial struggles of LG's mobile division as a reason for the change of strategy, instead stating that it is important to retain a good platform for a long time while also mentioning that there are concerns about the supply of materials for lithium batteries.

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LG has historically released its flagship smartphone some time in the beginning of the year, usually around or at the time of MWC in Barcelona.

Cho also talked about the firm's business plan for its robots powered by artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, which the firm has been revealing since it announced early past year that it would foster its robot business as a future growth engine. It never confirmed the mobile business is down but we know it's not making any money.

LG started to provide CLOi robots at Incheon Airport and Starfield Hanam, a large shopping mall in Korea, last year.

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