While things didn’t go as bad for LG in 2012 as they did for, say, HTC, we have to say the Korean company, which was once upon a time seen as a fierce Samsung rival, mostly underperformed. The first half of the year was particularly gloomy for the Optimus makers, which then saw their business pick up due to the Nexus 4 and Optimus G (partial) hits.
But 2013 could see LG climbing the mobile ladder much faster, even if the Nexus 4 limited supply issues look like they will never be completely solved. We suspect there are at least three exciting new top-tier Android phones coming from Seoul soon, the GK, G2 and Nexus 5, as well as a Nexus 7.7 tablet.
Taking that into consideration, but also the growing popularity of LG’s budget offerings, you should have no trouble in believing a new rumor that says the company is predicting sales of 75 million handhelds in total during this year, including 45 million smartphones.
That would be a major spike compared with 2012, when, according to estimates, LG pushed just around 56 million phones globally. Then again, if we put the 75 million number in perspective and compare it with Samsung’s half a billion projections, it’s obvious LG is once again going to come up short in 2013.
But let’s not go there and try to see if the 75 million prediction could check out. Again, LG only shipped around 56 million phones in 2012, which begs the question – can LG pull a 19 million, or 33% sales boost?
Well, first off, let’s mention that the figure was leaked by an “anonymous executive working for an LG Korean partner”, who based his optimism on the releasing of “quite a number of new Optimus devices this year”, as well as on new smartphones “that will run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8”. He also mentioned that LG is putting a lot of faith in budget Optimus smartphones that “are receiving lots of attention”.
So, basically, LG is counting on diversity, WP 8 devices and budget smartphones. Three aces up the company’s sleeve, although I think we can all agree that one of them is a jack, at best – Windows Phone 8. Which leaves all hope behind cheap entry-level gadgets and the putting eggs in as many baskets as possible strategy.
Will that be enough? That’s a question we can’t answer just yet, but what we can do is look at the numbers from last year and notice a trend. A favorable trend, considering LG sold 13 million phones in Q2 2012, 14 million the next quarter and possibly 15 in the last three months. Now if only they could keep up or even improve that growth rate.
Do you think LG's year is going to be better or worse than projected by this “anonymous executive”?