Wednesday, 2 May 2012

LG steps back from Windows Phone, blames the OS for poor sales

       After suffering through  half a year of net losses, LG finally managed to scrape together some encouraging financial news last quarter. Thanks to strong sales of their LTE smartphones, the company returned to profitability. Despite this success, LG is tempering expectations for the future, saying that they don’t expect rapid growth when it comes to smartphone sales.

There are several contributing factors at work. The smartphone market is extremely competitive, and LG is finding it tough against competitors like Samsung and HTC when it comes to Android and Windows Phone. Beyond that, LG’s placing some of the blame for their struggles on Microsoft’s mobile OS.

An LG spokesman told the Korea Herald that “the total unit of Windows Phone sold in the global market is not a meaningful figure,” and that the company would focus instead on Android. That’s not an entirely new revelation. At MWC 2012, LG said that their Windows Phone device sales were “slower than hoped for.”

To be fair, LG shoulders plenty of blame for that. The company only built two Windows Phone devices — the LG Quantum and the E906 Jil Sander Mobile — and they did very little to promote either one. Neither was particularly interesting, save for the slide-out QWERTY keyboard on the Quantum. In fact, despite being released nearly a year after the Quantum, the E906 sported nearly identical specs. It did at least drop the keyboard for a shiny, blue back plate, but that’s not exactly a move that will get consumers buzzing about your Windows Phones.

As many as three LG Windows Phone prototypes have been spotted in the wild in recent months, though none looked particularly interesting. Two were saddled with 1GHz processors and all three sported 5MP cameras. Granted, megapixels aren’t everything, but surely LG couldn’t have expected to have consumers ooing and ahhing over last-generation specs when devices like the Lumia 900 HTC and HTC Titan II are available.

When you point one finger at someone, three point back. So when LG says they’re going to continue research and development efforts around Windows Phone, let’s hope that their come-back attempt is something that has a bit more sizzle than what we’ve seen in the past. And not just more sizzle than their new LG Cloud service.

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