​MWC 2018: New LG premium smartphone coming soon, says mobile boss

LG Electronics will unveil a new premium brand smartphone in the coming months, the firm's mobile boss has said.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

LG Electronics will unveil a new premium brand smartphone at a separate event in the coming months, the firm's mobile boss has said.

Development of the phone is not over yet, however, Hwang Jeong-hwan, LG's mobile boss, said at a press conference at Mobile World Congress (MWC). It is too early to announce a precise date but it will be unveiled within the first half of 2018, he added.

"There will be an event where we will showcase a new premium model smartphone soon," he said. "But starting this year we are trying out different strategies and will not follow rivals. We are thinking of fundamentals," Hwang said.

"For the time being, there won't be a major change. A smartphone can't be made within a couple months. There are previous roadmaps that we have drawn for new models. But there will be changes going forward," he added.

At CES last month, LG Electronics CEO Jo Seong-jin said the firm will change the brand names of its flagship phones -- currently G and V -- if needed, but that nothing is finalised.

There has been intense speculation in the South Korean media on whether LG will keep the G or V brand. Both Jo and Hwang said the firm will, but didn't make it clear whether this means they will continue it for flagships or for budget models.

At MWC, LG unveiled a revamped V30 smartphone, dubbed V30S ThinQ, with added AI capabilities focusing on the camera. ThinQ is LG's AI and Internet of Things (IoT) brand and the company has been expanding its usage to TVs before attaching it to the V30.

As of the fourth quarter last year, LG posted 10 straight quarters of losses. Last year the mobile business lost 700 billion won, or around $650 million.

"It has been a time of introspection on whether we fully conveyed to consumers the best we can offer," Hwang said. "Consumers don't know our strengths. We have lost trust. We are trying to rebuild that trust and sales will automatically follow. It is too early to unveil all our efforts but there will be improvements going forward.

"We don't want to put in features that consumers won't use. We will focus on the A, B, C, and D," he added.

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