There’s been a weird changing of the guards over the past half decade or so. To establish their market dominance, Samsung continuously accelerated their flagship product launches to make sure they beat everyone and their moms to store shelves, including their big Cupertino rival known as Apple.
Dominance established, it seems the shoe is now shifting to the other foot. With Samsung delaying the launch of the Galaxy S8, classic players LG and HTC have found themselves with a product on store shelves before “Big Daddy” for the first time in years.
Take LG, for instance, whose LG G6 went on sale in South Korea recently and is still expected to spread to other key markets as soon as April 7th. The device sold 20,000 units on its first day of availability, a comfortable 5,000 more than expected. This is after previous pre-sales of 40,000 units, which is a pretty big mark for the region.
We’re sure a quality device is the biggest key factor in such success, but it can’t hurt that LG really doesn’t have anyone to contend with for at least the next month, and maybe even then some.
So, the question: can LG use this golden egg of an opportunity to regain relevancy in a market that seems to be getting more difficult to survive in by the day? Just 5 years ago, the answer could have been a solid “absolutely,” but we’re not so sure today.
Samsung got hit with their first big test of brand loyalty in recent times with the Galaxy Note 7. Phones were exploding, memes were being passed around like candy, and companies like LG gained a new line of marketing thanks to the big stumble.
But even through all of that, Samsung has seemingly prevailed. Most people shrugged the incident off and remained Samsung fans. The other less explosive phones in Samsung’s ranks continued to sell as hot as the Note 7 got, with the company even continuing to profit through a $3 billion mistake.
And that’s just what Samsung has going for themselves. Let’s not forget that LG has many other market troubles to deal with, such as the army of Chinese manufacturers who continue to hit the market with cost effective devices which undercut the big guys by a boatload. Even Samsung isn’t big enough to deal with that sort of uprising, with the company having had to make some major business changes in recent years after seeing their revenue take a nosedive because of it.
In 2017, the swan story of David taking down Goliath just doesn’t sound realistic anymore, unless those Chinese companies are considered David as a formidable collective. LG will make more money on the LG G6 than they were able to make with their previous phones, no doubt, but our guess is they’ll need a lot more than a small window of opportunity and one new marketing trick to do much more than sustaining their own existence in the smartphone world.