LG revealed it won’t be pinning all its market share hopes on the ground-breaking curved G Flex handset, although the manufacturer expects the device to raise the profile of its whole smartphone portfolio.
The G Flex will be the first smartphone of its type to be sold in the UK when it officially goes on sale in February, and although there is much hype surrounding it, European head of product marketing James Armstrong said the brand should be judged on its collective product base. He told Mobile: ‘The device is part of the portfolio, but it’s part of a broad portfolio. In terms of what drives our market share aspirations, products such as the G2 and the L Series family are really key for us. What the G Flex does is it gives us a great halo effect, bringing LG smartphones to the fore.
‘I don’t believe you can come into the really competitive smartphone market with just a high tier focus and have credibility, and we’ve built our credibility up with a selection of products.’
The Korean firm unveiled the device in late October and labelled it ‘the world’s first real curved smartphone’. The manufacturer has made something of a comeback in the smartphone arena in 2013 with the launch of the highly-rated G2, as well as being chosen by Google to make its latest incarnation of the Nexus, the Nexus 5, which was released in November.
The smartphone maker revealed its sales had increased by 24% in Q3 to 3.05 trillion Korean Won (£1.7 billion), selling 12 million devices worldwide over the summer period. An IDC report from the same period of time showed LG had slipped to fifth placed smartphone vendor behind Lenovo, although it posted strong year-over-year change of 71.4%, increasing its market share to 4.6%
LG teamed up with EE last month to demo the curved device in ten of its retail stores, although the G Flex won’t be on sale until February. Talking from EE’s store in Oxford Street, Marshall said the period would ‘whet the customer’s appetite’, especially when considering the capabilities of its operator partner’s 4G network. He added: ‘We’re putting it on display two months early to get people excited. We’ve launched commercially in Korea as of mid-November, which was really well received. It got a lot of press interest and its great initial reception in the Korean market makes us really excited about what is going to happen in the rest of the world.
‘It’s no accident that we’re working with EE in terms of the 4G experience because it’s a natural fit. EE is the kind of network that is ideal for watching movies and playing games and the G Flex is the ideal device to do that because of the curve aspect.’