LG has launched its new G7 ThinQ in SA in a bid to give its mobile business a boost.
The brand, which registered an operating loss of $126.8m in mobile in the first quarter of 2018, will be pushing sales of the G7 ThinQ in the near future.
"In the coming months, we will be executing special hero promotions with the networks. This will ensure customers easily understand the product features and where to get the device," Deon Prinsloo, general manager of mobile, LG South Africa, told Fin24.
There are signs that LG is on a resurgent pathway.
The company posted record first-quarter profit of $1.03bn in 2018, an increase of more than 20% on the back of a sales increase of 3.2%.
Mountain to climb
However, most of that growth was down to the home appliance and entertainment divisions.
The mobile business registered an operating loss of $126.8m.
But despite this data, Prinsloo said the company is intent on offering consumer value to help boost sales.
"Providing value to our customers is extremely important to LG. With every device, customers receive a premium accessory kit that includes 64GB SD card, wireless desktop changer and Bluetooth headset," he said.
But LG has a mountain to climb.
According to Bloomberg, LG shipped 13.9 million units worldwide, resulting in 13.9% market share at the end of 2017, lagging far behind Apple at 18.6%. Apple shipped 77.3 million units.
Fellow South Korean manufacturer Samsung - in a close battle with Apple - was in second place overall, at 17.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The G7 ThinQ features a sleek aluminium frame with a 6.1-inch (15.4cm) display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory on board.
The main camera is rated at 13 megapixels and is particularly useful for low-light photography at f/1.6.
The device is also designed to be life-proof with Gorilla Glass protection, and IP68 water and dust proofing.
At 3000mAh, the battery could likely power the device for a full day of reasonably heavy duty use.
According to industry tracker Gartner, smartphone sales declined for the first time at the end of 2017.
The company said that two factors are hurting smartphone sales, which declined 5.6%. Consumers are dropping very cheap smartphones, opting instead for quality feature phones.
"Second, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
In South Africa, Prinsloo argued that despite the global downturn, local customers are ready for the LG value proposition.
"There is still a demand from consumers that upgrade; LG uses this as an opportunity to create devices that meet the needs of these customers.
"There has not been any impact toward LG South Africa. In fact, within our market, LG South Africa has seen good growth year-on-year," Prinsloo said.
The LG G7 ThinQ will retail for R13 999 or R649 per month from June 2018.
LG did not say whether it would be bringing the upgraded V30S ThinQ to SA.