Market Insight

LG looks to achieve parity with other flagship smartphones with the launch of the G4

April 29, 2015

Gerrit Schneemann Gerrit Schneemann Sr Research Analyst, Smartphone

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LG is releasing the update to last years’ G3 at multiple events worldwide. With the launch of the new device, LG is looking to stay competitive new devices from Samsung and HTC. Even though LG announced the LG G Flex 2 at CES earlier this year, the G4 is geared to directly compete with the Galaxy S6 and HTC’s One M9 – and with iPhone 6, of course.

Specifications

Screen: 5.5 inch IPS Quantum Display with 2560x1440 resolution.

Battery: removable 3,000 mAh battery.

Camera: 16 megapixel rear-facing camera with F1.8 aperture and OIS 2.0, eight megapixel front-facing camera.

Processor: Qualcokm Snapdragon 808 processor with X10 LTE

OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop

Memory: 32GB eMMC ROM, 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, microSD card slot

New materials: genuine leather removable back cover, ceramic back covers.

Our Analysis

With the G4, LG is picking up trends laid out by Samsung and HTC, while trying to differentiate by retaining some hardware features previously found on other devices.

The arms race around camera capabilities and megapixels continues, as LG is focusing on highlighting the advanced capabilities. LG is building on the laser guided auto focus feature found on previous devices by adding an advanced manual mode. The company highlights the professional features and capabilities of the camera. Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and HTC’s One M9 all tout their respective imaging capabilities. LG is trying to keep up with the G4.

With the addition of new materials, LG is opening up new personalization options. Motorola introduced highly customizable handsets with the Moto X. While Motorola is building MotoX devices “to order” LG is able to provide similar flexibility, without risking over producing a particular version of the device. Even Apple is embracing personalization – at least with Apple Watch. Providing increased personalization options is a good way to continue to differentiate from the competition as hardware specifications are becoming comparable and Android makes differentiation on software features increasingly difficult.

With the G4, LG is also jumping on the momentum behind MirrorLink, a technology which allows users to connect their handset to a screen in the dashboard of their car to mirror the screens of the handset and allow users access to apps on the phone. HTC and Sony have supported this open standard for some time and Samsung is increasing its public support of the technology. For handset makers, MirrorLink is an opportunity to extend the usability of their devices to an in-vehicle solution without having to form exclusive partnerships with automotive OEMs. In light of Apple’s drive to enable CarPlay in an increasing number of vehicles, handset makers on Android have to look for a solution which provides its users with a similar experience without having to rely on Android Auto.

The LG G4 is a handset with a lot going for it. However, many of the features LG introduced today have also been the focus of product launches by the competition. Therefore, it will be important for the company to launch the device smoothly in many markets and communicate the highlights of the device, back cover materials, screen resolution and camera capabilities effectively. Trusting that great design and software experiences will convince users to buy the device is not enough in today’s smartphone market.

 

 

Organization
LG LG Electronics
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