LG's G Pad Tablets Have 10 Nagging Problems That Will Limit Success

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-05-14 Print this article Print

LG is back at it in the tablet space. The company, which performed fairly well in the tablet market last year with the G Pad 2 and a follow-up Nexus device, has introduced three new G Pad devices, ranging in size from 7 inches to 10.1 inches. The full specifications on the devices haven't been made public yet, but based on what LG has already shared, it looks like the G Pads, while nice, could have some trouble competing in a hotly contested tablet market. LG is an odd company in the mobile space. On one hand, it performs consistently by delivering new devices each year that come with good features that are comparable to popular products from Samsung and others. However, LG has been generally unable to capture significant market profits, and while it's gained the image of being a company that can stay afloat in the mobile market, it hasn't found the product and marketing formula to cement its position as a serious competitor to Samsung and Apple. LG hopes that its latest tablet launches can change that. But the truth is, LG has no chance of taking tablet market share from Samsung or Apple with its new line of slates. LG's products lack the critical factors that determine success in the tablet space.

  • LG's G Pad Tablets Have 10 Nagging Problems That Will Limit Success

    By Don Reisinger
    LG's G Pad Tablets Have 10 Nagging Problems That Will Limit Success
  • There's an LG Problem

    LG is in a rough position. The company delivers high-quality products that would seemingly appeal to just about every customer, but whenever market share data comes out, LG is far behind Apple and Samsung. Recently, it was revealed that Apple and Samsung earned 106 percent of the mobile industry's profits in the first quarter. LG was nowhere in sight. Some might wonder how these two companies could generate 106 percent of the potential profits in a given market. That's because some losses were accounted for, thus increasing the total profit pie for Apple and Samsung.
    There's an LG Problem
  • There's a Samsung Problem

    Another issue for LG is Samsung. Try as it might, LG has been totally incapable of catching Samsung in smartphones or tablets. And, while the new G Pad tablets might seem appealing at first blush, there doesn't appear to be anything special about them that would make folks opt for LG's slates over Samsung's in the Android space. That's a real issue.
    There's a Samsung Problem
  • There's an Apple Problem

    It's hard to talk about tablet success without recognizing the impact Apple has on the space. Apple's iPads are wildly popular and generate more revenue than other slates on the market. In the majority of cases, customers are thinking first about iPads before any other tablet. Unless LG can find a way to stop that, it's hard to see how the G Pad slates can change the company's luck in tablets.
    There's an Apple Problem
  • What's So Great About the Designs?

    LG's three new G Pad tablets come with standard screen sizes—7 inches, 8 inches and 10.1 inches—and have a regular black bezel like anything else you'd see on the market. Images of the tablets suggest LG is thinking about different colors for the back, but will that really sway buyers? For LG to be successful, it needs to do something special on design—and the G Pad slates aren't cutting it.
    What's So Great About the Designs?
  • LG Doesn't Have a Loyal Following

    When Apple announces a new product, you can bet that people will be standing outside its stores around the world waiting to get their hands on it. The same can be said for Samsung products in certain countries. When LG products are announced, they get some attention on the day they are unveiled and then quietly enter the retail chain, hoping to attract customers. The secret to mobile success is to develop a loyal following. LG hasn't done that.
    LG Doesn't Have a Loyal Following
  • Tech Aficionados Don't Care

    One of the most important segments of the technology market is the class of individuals who have extensive knowledge of the space. Those folks are the influencers, as they help the average consumer by offering advice that influences buying decisions. Through evangelists, Apple and Samsung have infiltrated that class. LG hasn't. And until it does, it seems rather unlikely that the major tech influencers will recommend its products on a large scale.
    Tech Aficionados Don't Care
  • Tablets Must Bridge the Enterprise Divide

    One of the most important features in buying decisions today is enterprise applicability. Can a tablet that is designed for consumers work in the enterprise? One can say that about the iPad Air and Samsung's Galaxy Note, but it seems unlikely that LG's latest line of G Pad slates can acquire the same corporate appeal. The tablets are simply too consumer-focused and lack the enterprise-friendly features so many companies need nowadays. That's a problem for LG.
    Tablets Must Bridge the Enterprise Divide
  • The Specs Won't Stand Out

    Although LG hasn't announced formal specs for its G Pad line just yet, the company is expected to unveil the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset with the devices, as well as 2GB of RAM and around 16GB of storage, depending on the version. While those features aren't bad, they don't make the device interesting or unique in any way. LG needs to push the envelope on power and functionality. And judging by the rumors surrounding the devices, it has no plans to do so.
    The Specs Won't Stand Out
  • Are the Tablets 'Diverse' Enough?

    One of LG's talking points on the new G Pad line is that the devices are "diverse" and so can appeal to many customers. However, while the tablets do come in different sizes, beyond that they're quite standard. They all come with the same software experience, their screen sizes aren't notably different, and LG hasn't proved that from an app perspective that it can easily differentiate its devices based on the individual product's desired market. Differentiation is great to have, as long as products are actually diverse.
    Are the Tablets 'Diverse' Enough?
  • The Integrated Services Aren't There

    Following that, it should be noted that LG is far behind in the area of integrated services. Apple has been successful in mobile in part because of services like iTunes, the App Store and iBooks. The same can be said for Samsung's Apps marketplace and its line of multimedia content stores. LG doesn't have the same back-end app supply to help keep people locked into its products and interested in maintaining their LG devices.
    The Integrated Services Aren't There
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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