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Will LG V10 Flagship be able to Shake China and India Smartphone Market?

by Woody Oh | Oct 02, 2015

LG announced its new premium smartphone, V10, on the first day of October 2015 in Seoul (Heardquarter of LG) and New York (biggest market for LG). While there is some argument that V10 will become a successor to the last premium phone, G4, available since last April, it's getting clear that LG has put the utmost efforts in creating V10 in the following aspects.

1. Dual Screens : While it is estimated to be an extremely hard task to implement dual screens with one LCD panel, LG did a great job in creating the small, but "always-on" secondary display where you can make your smartphone usage better and more diversified.

2. Dual Cameras (5MP+5MP, Front-facing) : While we have to wait for LG's updates on the applicable usages by this dual front-facing cameras, the purported function to be able to widen the angle when taking the selfie would be regarded as a differentiator, requiring no need to bring the selfie stick when you are in a hurry.

3. Separate 32bit Hi-Fi Audio DAC (Digital to Analog Convertor) supporting 384kHz and Headphone AMP : Listening to music on smartphones are becoming a common habit for almost all smartphone users, young generation in particular, so users are naturally keen to seek for better audio quality while listening. LG's new bid for integrating the separate Hi-Fi audio chip and headphone amplifier will be a clear differentiator in this respect as more and more people are inclined to carry only one multi-media focused device these days.

4. Professional Mode of Camera and Video: Needless to say, LG is one of the best smartphone makers who can create the best still image quality with its differentiated software, enabling an even novice to take the best picture with very easy mode setting. With V10, LG is expected to make a step further, making the common users become the best movie maker with its easy, but professional setting mode.

5. Upgraded Material : V10 becomes the first metal-framed (stainless steel)  premium smartphone among LG's line-ups. In addition to MIL-STD-810G shock-resistant certification, V10 also comes with a Dura Skin coating (silicon) on the back side and the bottom of the display to make this device one of the best durable smartphones in the world.

Where there are several differentiators and strong selling-points on V10, we summarized the below two points that LG would need to address to drive up the sales of LG smartphones including V10.

1. China and India : While those two countries are the top 3 biggest smartphone market with the US, accounting for 40% share of global smartphone market during Q2 2015, LG's smartphone share in those two countries remain tiny according to our quarterly country share tracker from Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service. We recommend LG to promote the premium image of V10 while bringing cost-effective, but the same concept multi-media focused smartphones to China and India in a fast manner. Without a break-through in China and India, there will be no swift turnaround for LG.

2. Inconsistent Model Naming: As we pointed out in the insight report as the differentiators that LG should prioritize in the coming years, sticking to the consistent modeling naming should be easy to remember and familiar to common users. While we believe that V10 will be the best-selling smartphone worldwide after official launch next week, the new V-brand with '10' as a suffix may be likely to deliver some confusion on the identity of the premium line-ups from LG as consumers normally feel friendlier to the simple and consistent brand naming.

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