LG is reportedly focused on Google Android smartphones and not new Microsoft Windows Phone handsets. Fierce Wireless reported the information on Monday and shared an LG representative’s official confirmation of this smartphone strategy. Why pass or hold off on a new platform? After losses in its mobile division, LG has bounced back as consumers are buying Android phones.
LG spokesman, Ken Hong, pointed this out in a statement to Fierce Wireless:
“Although we currently don’t have another Windows device in the pipeline, that is simply because demand for Android devices is so strong. We’ve maintained since the beginning that LG will support whatever operating system consumers want but at the moment, our priority is to get our Android devices to a level where we feel we’ve covered all the bases, to use an American analogy.”
Hong’s statement is interesting because we’ve covered LG’s smartphone strategy for several years and have two other related instances worth noting. In June, 2010, I reported that LG was enlisting in the Android army as the company made a similar strategy statement: Back then LG said it would be outing 20 new Android phones and not a single mention was made of Windows Phone, which would officially launch on devices just a few months later.
Hong even commented on my post, with this:
“What we’ve said on more than one occasion is that LG would have a total of 20 or so smartphones out by the end of the year. We never specified how many of those would be running Android, how many would be Microsoft Mobile and how many would be something else. Not sure how the story came out this way but we figure it was due to some poor translation. I wish I could say for certain how many of each but the product portfolio is still in flux.”
It seems as the translation was just fine, however. In January 2011, LG expressed disappointment in Microsoft’s big Windows Phone launch as initial sales of the smartphones fell short of expectations. Still, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director of LG Electronics global, offered kind words about Microsoft’s mobile platform.
LG can praise Windows Phone all it wants, but let’s be honest: Actions are louder than words. The company has never devoted serious effort — at least in the form of shipping products — behind Microsoft Windows Phone; likely because it’s hard to differentiate the product from other Microsoft partners. In 2010 LG only offered the Optimus 7 and Optimus Q, with no new Windows Phone models in 2011. And in the near-term, this strategy looks to be unchanged.
All I see from LG so far are Android phones on shelves and nice talking points about Windows Phone, meaning that LG is likely keep the Microsoft door slightly ajar if Android ceases to bring in enough revenue. There’s nothing wrong with that for LG, but Microsoft can’t be thrilled with this situation as it tries to broaden distribution of Windows Phones.