Samsung and Apple start aggressive LG smartphone return programs

Samsung and Apple have started aggressive trade-in programs in South Korea to lure LG phone owners.

Samsung and Apple on Friday launched their trade-in programs for LG smartphones in South Korea in a bid to fill the vacuum left by LG's exit of the phones business in the country.

The pair are offering to pay the trade-in value of phones as well as an additional 150,000 won, or approximately $135, for LG smartphone users that turn in their used phones to replace them with a Galaxy smartphone or an iPhone, according to announcements made by local telcos SK Telecom, KT, and LG Plus.

The promotion is separate from existing trade-in programs offered by the telcos and does not require a subscription.

Apple will run its program up to September 25. Those with 4G and 5G LG smartphones that have been used the past month can exchange them for an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Mini.

The program is only available in retail stores run by the telcos and not at Apple Stores or Apple's resellers.

Samsung's scheme will run until the end of June. Those with any LG 4G or 5G smartphone can turn in their devices for the Galaxy S21 series, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, or Galaxy Note 20 series.

Consumers can register for the program at Samsung Digital Plaza and stores run by the telcos and local electronics retailer Himart.

Samsung has been running a similar program since April for LG phones but the only eligible device then was the V50 ThinQ.

According to market research firm Counterpoint, in 2020, Samsung held a 65% market share in South Korea's smartphones market. Apple held a 20% market share, while LG controlled 13%.

In April, LG announced it was exiting the mobile business. The company will close down its mobile operations by July 31.

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