LG to Get Back to Ba­sics, Will Make Low-cost Smart­phones

Firm to re-en­ter the sub-`10,000 cat­e­gory in In­dia by July-Au­gust Af­ford­able Hand­sets

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Our Bureau

LG Elec­tron­ics to make en­try-level smart­phones

New Delhi: LG Elec­tron­ics will re-en­ter the low-cost smart­phone seg­ment in In­dia by July-Au­gust as it aims to get more mar­ket share by vol­ume in In­dia, about 70% of which is made up of phones in the sub-`10,000 cat­e­gory. The com­pany will in­tro­duce more In­dia-spe­cific prod­ucts from now on rather than repli­cat­ing glob­ally suc­cess­ful mod­els in the coun­try. The Korean con­sumer durables gi­ant is aim­ing at dou­ble digit growth in over­all rev­enue in the com­ing fi­nan­cial year, even as it is set to close the cur­rent fis­cal at ₹ 22,000 crore - up10% from the pre­vi­ous fis­cal - where mo­bile phones would con­trib­ute 6-7%. “Nor­mally we pur­sue value mar­ket share, but in case of mo­bile phones in In­dia, con­sid­er­ing the tremen­dous struc­ture, we also have to con­sider some vol­ume seg­ments which are be­low ₹ 10,000,” Kim Ki Wan, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of LG Elec­tron­ics In­dia, told ET.

“Our re­gret is that we have not de­vel­oped an In­dia-spe­cific model, but just in­tro­duced a global plat­form, which has got good feed­back in the US and other mar­kets, but not in In­dia. Just now, we’ve started to de­velop In­dia-spe­cific plat­form, which I feel can change our sit­u­a­tion,” he said, when asked about the rea­sons be­hind LG’s low phone sales de­spite its tech­nol­ogy and brand prow­ess in the con­sumer durables in­dus­try. The com­pany, which on Thurs­day launched the first phone — K10 2017 — with panic but­ton ca­pa­bil­ity, had a cou­ple of mod­els in the en­try-level or low-cost price seg­ment two years ago. But it has since va­cated the price bracket and will make a reen­try with a cou­ple of new mod­els be­tween ₹ 7,500 and ₹ 9,000, by the be­gin­ning of third quar­ter.

LG Elec­tron­ics be­lieves it still has a chance to make a mark in the fiercely com­pet­i­tive In­dian smart­phone mar­ket by launch­ing six to seven new phones in 2017. The flag­ship model LG G6 will be one among them which will be launched in 2-3 months, af­ter it is an­nounced at the Mo­bile World Congress by the month-end. The com­pany lags way be­hind the pack of smart­phone brands in In­dia, with a 0.4% share as of De­cem­ber 2016, as per Coun­ter­point Re­search, de­spite hav­ing pres­ence in price seg­ments be­tween ₹ 9,000 and ₹ 55,000. But it hopes to change the dy­namic with lower priced mod­els and the K10 2017, sales of which are ex­pected to be over 1 mil­lion units. The K10, which was the first model to be made in In­dia from last year, has sold around 2,00,000 units. The com­pany may look to ex­pand its present man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­date more mod­els, which it started through con­tract man­u­fac­turer GDN in April last year.

more In­di­aspe­cific prod­ucts

sub-`10,000 cat­e­gory 3 years ago

vol­ume mar­ket share in price-sen­si­tive coun­try

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.