LG CEO unimpressed by the iPhone SE’s “same old-technology and features”

by: Rob TriggsMarch 24, 2016
3.8K

LG CEO Cho Ju-no

Apple’s newly released iPhone SE might be a little on the small size for some at just 4-inches, but the opportunity to hop into Apple’s premium brand at just a $399 price point is sure to tempt a number of consumers. LG, arguably one of the better value Android OEMs in previous generations, doesn’t appear worried or impressed by Apple’s latest offering though, suggesting that the iPhone SE is a rather mediocre handset.

Speaking at an opening for a G5 and Friends hands-on experience event in Seoul, LG CEO Cho Ju-no fended off concerns that the iPhone SE may offer up serious competition for LG in the mid-range market. Talking more specifically about the new handset, the CEO noted that “rolling out a product with same-old technology and features is not LG’s way.”

Perhaps he has a point, as the iPhone SE is based on very familiar Apple hardware. On the other hand, the LG G5 and its modular design is a remarkably different handset to LG’s last generation smartphones and, along with its LG Friends add-ons, is probably the most innovative handset on the market right now. LG is also trying out some different features with dual camera and Always-On display technology with its mid-range X cam and X screen phones. Of course, differentiation is no guarantee that consumers will leap on board, but LG insists that it is focused on its own products and isn’t worried about its rivals.

“LG Electronics does not care seriously about rankings, at the moment, as we are focused on making sure the new device provides consumers a variety of options to have fun,” – LG CEO Cho Ju-no

That being said, LG appears to have caught wind of Apple’s and Samsung’s smartphone trade-in and upgrade programs, which are strong strategies for ensuring consumer loyalty and retention. LG says that it is in discussions to launch its own consumer care program, but no specific blueprints have been drawn up just yet.

While Apple and Samsung may be sticking close to tried and testing formulae so far this year, LG is clearly taking a very different approach with its new phones, having chosen instead to focus on creating new mobile experiences. Is this a strategy that appeals to you or is LG taking too much of a risk with the G5?

  • teomor

    I am impressed by LG’s inability to make a small powerful smartphone, comparable to the iPhone SE.

    • Hsein Shabshoul

      400$ is not that cheap considering the price being the main reason to even make the SE, LG on the other hand offers a 170$ midrange phone with 5.7″ screen, the G4 Stylus, providing a decent performance and experience with respect to the really low price.

      • teomor

        Clearly you didn’t read the most important part of what I wrote. You comparing a 5.7″ with a 4″ screen is like comparing an american truck/SUV with small european city car. You realize how wrong that is?

        • Hsein Shabshoul

          Yes you are right …
          I was considering the price/performance ratio.
          Clearly I replied to the wrong comment, excuse me.

          • Diego

            I think you meant to reply to my comment.

        • Jon Duke

          Yeah, but at the same time, the 4inch phone should cost less. I can buy a sub-100$ android phone with a 720p screen. I can compare that to Apple (since we’re only comparing screen sizes) and apple loses anyways.

          • teomor

            I don’t think there are any rules in this industry :) There is no SHOULD. It costs whatever the hell they want. It’s Apple, of course it’ expensive :)
            But I once had the Z3 Compact and that too was overpriced. Just because there was no alternative to it at that time (small flagship-esque phone) and the same story with the Z5 Compact btw..

  • Diego

    ouch.
    Shots fired.

  • Tony G.

    One size doesn’t fit all. I like larger phones but that doesn’t mean everybody does. Different people have different tastes.

    • Swordylove

      Exactly. I don’t understand why people moan about Apple making 4″ phone again when there are already plenty of options for large phones, including iPhones.

      • Afraz Anosh

        I think people are upset over the fact that Apple simply upgraded the 5S shell instead of redesigning something.

        • Swordylove

          Some complain about the same design. But others are bit**ing about the size, so it doesn’t matter if it’s completely redesigned. They bit** about the size when there are already larger options available.

          • Afraz Anosh

            Exactly. If you want a larger size just go for the larger models xD

  • Diego

    Looking at the price/performance ratio, LG better develop a similar phone.

  • Modest Mind

    I wish LG made a G5 Mini with following specs: 4.6″ FHD, SD820, SD-Card Slot, etc.

    • Lim Ming Quan

      Trying to compete with Sony, huh.

      • Modest Mind

        Well as far as Mini is concerned Sony does it right. Like Steve Jobs once said: “Good artists copy great artists steal”. :-))

      • Nibbler

        yeah excpt sony doesn’t put FHD in their z5 compact…so….

  • Sayed ahamed

    the G5’s camera bump is hideous to say the least it looks like an eyesore

  • RiTCHiE

    Huh its bout specs? Was the iphone ever bout specs? NO! Its bout design and hardware/software combo and on this part is where LG can learn a lot with all their oversized phones.

    • nyc_rock

      Sure, with Apple its never about specs until they want to make it all about specs. Like when they tout their new A9 processor and how fast it is. When we get to the screen or RAM its not about specs. Because its then all about the usability of IOS and the amount of apps in the app store.

      • C Lo

        I have an iPhone 5c and it works well, even on 2.5 year old hardware with the most recent OS update. It’s really not about specs. Most Apple consumers do not dwell on specs at all, only the wannabe techies on these boards. We care more about usability; does the device still do what I want it to do.

        • Jon Duke

          I don’t think you understand what he meant. When Tim Cook comes on stage and goes: “The new A9 is amazing. Fastest chip on the market. Best performance ever” and then we go: “Wow, impressive! What about the RAM and Storage?”… He goes: “Yes yes, icloud for storage and you can touch the screen to make pictures move”…

          It’s like if I start talking about how the grass is so green on my lawn and when you ask me why there’s so many dandelions, I start talking about the bricks on the house.

          • Diego

            I don’t think people care about ram, Not on iOS at least.

          • Aris Routis

            But do they (magically) care bout how fast A9 is ?

            Apple has a way to twist things around to their liking, how CPU is fast but ram is not important (oh but it is cause it gives life to the device so people don’t really need to go buy the new device every about 2 years), the screen is important but hey it’s all about the (ancient) interface which is (somehow) (im)practical having to do with 9-10 clicks and gestures what can be done with 1 – 2 clicks in android.

            I could go on and on, however iSheep always clap their hands to whatever Cook and gang will say, so it’s pretty pointless.

          • Jon Duke

            Good for you.

        • Marc Perrusquia

          The 5c is using 4 year old hardware…. Same internals as the nearly 4 year old iPhone 5.

      • tanjiajun34

        Well that 2gb ram just works fine for iOS. It outperformed most Android phones in terms of multitasking. I know Android multitasking is different from iOS multitasking. iOS’s one is more limited yes but that is why 2gb is enough for their phones. Why put 4gb when 2 is enough?

  • Nibbler

    Yeah well its a iPhone 6s in a 5s body. You see LG/Sony/HTC/Samsung, they didn’t make the phone smaller AND give it lowend/ midrange specs….Can you please do the same? I know there are some people that would love a 4.5 inch top notch android phone.

    • czerikcum

      Well, at the moment you have Sony’s Z5 Compact……

      • Nibbler

        it’s nice until I saw 720p display. I want atleast 1080p.

        • Lim Ming Quan

          You WANT 1080p on a 4.6inch screen, but you DON’T NEED 1080p. 720p for a 4.6inch screen is more than enough. Well, at least it’s better than the screen on the SE.

          • =

            You don’t need 1080p even on 5″… In fact I prefer 5″ 720p screen + 3000mAh battery- good enough display + 2 real day battery life

          • Nibbler

            you dont need 1440p on a 5.7 inch screen but the note 5 (which I have) has one. so what’s your point?

          • Nibbler

            you dont need 1440p on a 5.7 inch screen but the note 5 (which I have) has one. so your point?

          • Lim Ming Quan

            So you’ve pretty much the same ppi and higher resolution. The winner’s pretty clear here.

          • Nibbler

            How is that pretty clear? Its the same. Resolution doesn’t matter. It’s about ppi. What looks clearer? a 60″ 4k display or a 20″ 1080p display? 1080 looks sharper. Question comes down to is do you want a 4.6 or 4 inch sceen and do you want ios or android. (also do you want to be caught up to date for the next couple years or just one cycle os upgrade)

          • Scott Hamilton

            Those 12 points difference, when accounted for the 300 before them, gives an actual difference of around 4%, hardly anything to write home about. It’s like the difference between 100 and 104, barely perceptable.

          • Nibbler

            you are correct. however he said it was better. it was not. still i’d want a 1080p screen on a 4.7 inch phone.

          • squirtle

            I agree 1080p is a must and 1440p is good if it is 5.5inches or more but 12 pixels is not gonna show u ANY difference. End of the day both the phones meet ‘retina’ specification but fail to have the best panel around

          • Nibbler

            someone with sense. thank you

        • =

          Why don’t you jump from a high bridge? Or hang yourself? We just don’t need another idiot here…

          • Nibbler

            Have a nice day good sir.

        • scoupdogg

          you want 1080p display on smaller phone?
          call apple in maybe … 2024

      • Diego

        The Z line is dead tho.

    • MJ

      Why would anyone need top specs in a 4″ phone? No one is going to be doing extended web browsing, video watching, or hardcore gaming on a screen that small so what’s the point?

      • mrochester

        Yes they are!

        • MJ

          Who? Masochists?

          • mrochester

            No, just normal people who want a decent sized, powerful phone.

          • MJ

            4″ is not decent sized for the things I listed but works for making phone calls and texting I guess.

          • Nibbler

            Well I was talking about 4.5 inch phone. You talking about a 4 inch phone lol.

          • Diego

            It happens to be enough for some people.

          • Wilbur Twilliger

            I think they are forgetting a large part of their audience, the older generation. I work around 50 ‘older folk’, people 45 and above, every one of them are using either the apple 6 or galaxy note 4. ‘My old eyes can’t see that tiny screen’, they all said.
            Don’t know where apples logic is, but I’m sure they will spin it well, as always.

          • Swordylove

            How are they forgetting them? They still make 4.7″ and 5.5″ models. How does it hurt them to bring more options for people who want smaller phones?

          • mrochester

            No, I promise, it does work fine for those things.

          • MJ

            No, I promise, doing those things are so much more enjoyable on a phone over 5″.

          • mrochester

            And also works fine on a 4″ screen too. We all managed for years and years :).

          • Scott Hamilton

            Men with tiny hands.

      • Nibbler

        4.5-4.7 is perfect. maybe even the lg g3 because of the bezels. but I have a note 5 and regret it. really regret it. nexus 4 screen size is perfect.

      • abazigal

        I have edited videos before on my iPhone 5s. I am sure there are processor-intensive tasks people do perform on a small phone which would benefit from good specs.

        • MJ

          Why? Normal people edit video on something called PCs. One need to edit on the go? I would think a phone with a display of 5″ or bigger would be desirable for that.

    • NoIdea

      Sony’s doing this thing for some time, more 2 years ago with the z1 compact. Seems like it is you whose needs to be reading the news

      • Nibbler

        yeah z5 compact has 720p display. I want top notch specs all around.

        • Jon Duke

          And you think the iPhone SE has what? 1080p? Bad news, it’s a 640p screen. Worst than 720p.

          So answer this, why is it that it’s ok for Apple to have a bad screen and you praise them but Android need to put 1080p on a small phone to make you happy?

          • Nibbler

            it’s called dpi. 1136*640 on a 4 inch phone gives you 326 dpi. 720p on a 4.7 inch phone gives you 312 ppi. So the iphone’s screen would look less jaggy around text and video. Go back to school

          • Jeff Murillo

            It’s called ppi, pixels per inch. The Xperia Z5 compact has a 4.6 inch screen giving you 323 ppi. Go back to kindergarten

          • Nibbler

            My bad I was thinking about printers for some reason lol. now go back to pre-k

          • Aris Routis

            You understand 323 is better than 312 right? You are owned and you still keep talking…

          • Falenone

            Yes, as if you can tell them apart just by looking at them without knowing which is which. If you can and say “Hey there’s 14 pixel difference in ppi then you’re lying.

          • ImpassionedRule

            m8, anything over 300ppi is enough on a screen

            for vr on the other hand, it’s not enough

          • Jon Duke

            Except were complaining that iPhone with wanting 1080p on an Android phone of the same size. You go back to school.

      • M42

        Nobody knows about Sony phones because they don’t sell them through carriers,

    • The Ultra

      Depends on how you see it.

      One of the biggest markets is India, most (~70%) of the phones sold in India have at least 5 inch and cost less than 150$. (PC replacements)

      That’s two things the cheap-iPhone can’t offer. Additionally people buy Apple because it’s expensive. That argument doesn’t go for the cheap-iPhone either.

      • Nibbler

        people buy iphones cause they are expensive? lol. How about cause they are simple, powerful, have great build quality, outstanding customer service, will usually be updated to the newest software for the next 3-4 years and have great resale value? I agree about the india region argument. Some regions have smartphones for all their internet means and thus choose accordingly.

        • The Ultra

          Yes people buy iPhones because they are expensive. You got that right.

          All points you stated, you can get cheaper, for that nobody needs to buy an Apple product.

          Specially In China this thing may fail. And China is 1/4 of Apple’s market. A cheap Apple product is not good.

  • Marty

    “LG CEO unimpressed by the iPhone SE’s ‘same old-technology and features'”

    Translation: “Damn! Why didn’t we think of that first??”

    • MJ

      Real translation: We did that like 3/4 years ago…

  • nyc_rock

    Re; the modular design. Being different for the sake of being different doesnt work. If these modular pcs dont add serious functionality you will see them go away as soon as this year. Personally, I have no use it so would never consider buying it. On the other hand, Apple really got lazy with the 5SE. I would have been much more excited if they used the device to usher in a new design language instead of just regurgitating the same design that they left behind a couple of years ago. That bezel to screen ratio is as bad as ever. Im sure it will do well with a certain consumer segment, but it left me thoroughly unimpressed.

    • Jon Duke

      Yeah, it’ll go away like that QHD screen they made first and everyone said was useless and stupid.

  • Ravi Mohan

    you are completely correct

  • D13H4RD2L1V3

    Well, they did say once that 5.5-inches was “the optimal size”, even though it wasn’t.

  • Jon Duke

    Well, he,s kind of right…

  • Well, look who’s saying. Still offers LCD tech though the original innovators of OLED (pinching Samsung).
    Modular is not necessary to offer 32-Dac speakers, way to make money and that’s aint innovation.

  • Pamela

    I wouldn’t buy a iPhone 6 SE but Apple needed to do something to get into the mid range market. The phone isnt supposed to be innovative, it’s just supposed to be an apple product that can compete with a $400 moto x pure or etc. I think it was good for Apple to release it.

  • M42

    LG5 is a great phone, if you like carrying around an encyclopedia.

  • s2weden2000

    yEah..2008 called they want their design back.. *ericsson syndrom …

  • KeyserSoze

    Only morons use a tiny 4″ iPhone cuz its size reminds them of their dik. These idiots need to be thinned from the herd immediately. I’d always slap that puny toy iPhone from their girly little hands and stomp the sht out of it til there’s nothing left. They’d cry and run to their mommy but I just tell them to man the fuq up and buy a real phone. LOL LOL LOL !!!

  • James Theodore Retuya

    Perhaps this tiny ceo should be a little more humble and start yapping only when his company has reached a tenth of apple’s success.

  • He looks scared

  • tanjiajun34

    I feel that iPhone 5SE is better than what I expected. Apple A9 with 6S’s camera is just great. I know they aren’t the best the market but of course they can’t put anything better than the 6S on their budget phone? But still it is going to outperform even most or all of the Android flagships (Thanks to their low resolution and the Apple A9). The iPhone 6S is still faster than the s7 in terms of loading apps performance. The only minus point is they are using the old design which I am guess to save up the cost of using aluminium 7000 or else bend gate again.

    I really don’t get those complains about it. Are they expecting a iPhone that is better than the 6S? Are they expecting to get iPhone 7 at such an early time??

  • Well at least apple can push timely software updates. I replaced my nexus 5 with a v10,big mistake, I’m still waiting on lg to release a single monthly security update let alone Marshmallow. I love the hardware but. Damn. The software. The bloat and crap ware, why can’t I uninstall Facebook? I would rather buy a Windows phone than ever get another LG.

  • balcobomber25

    When did LG become a “better value brand”? $650 for a G5 isn’t exactly a value…

  • George Kafantaris

    Why go backwards?

  • Sparafucile

    The difference is that when Apple has a systemic problem with a phone model, it offers fixes or corrective service to customers en masse. LG sweeps the problems under the rug, and basically tells it’s customers to pound sand. Case in point – the headphone jack failure problem that quickly renders most LG Optimus devices unusable.
    LG behaves the same way Audi does … which means that despite splendid engineerimg, it creates customer rejection, not loyalty.
    And I don’t even like Apple products, so don’t think this is the comment of some Apple fanboy.