The mobile marketplace is a conundrum for the vast majority of companies competing there. Apple and Samsung own about all of the profits in the smartphone market. Companies like Nokia, BlackBerry and others have to scratch for whatever market share and consumer attention they can grab from the top two contenders.
The same is definitely true for LG, a company that has for years been delivering high-end smartphones, but failing to break through with a Samsung-like sales success.
The LG Optimus G Pro is one of those devices that might deserve more credit than it ultimately gets. The device comes with a huge, 5.5-inch screen, it has a 1.7GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of onboard RAM and its 13-megapixel camera matches that of the Samsung Galaxy S 4. The device makes the iPhone 5 look obsolete and could very well top the Galaxy S 4 for value to Android customers.
But it will undoubtedly have an extremely difficult time attracting a large customer base. The LG Optimus G Pro is competing in a cluttered market, and unfortunately for LG, the device just doesn’t have what it takes to achieve Samsung-like success.
These are the reasons why.
1. It’s an Apple world
Let’s face it: Apple the mobile marketplace. All other smartphone makers—save for Samsung—are left to hope that they can grab some modest market share from the top two companies. Unless Apple or Samsung stumbles, secondary and tertiary players like LG will have no way to make up ground.
2. For Android customers, it’s a Samsung world
If there’s anything that we know about the Android marketplace, it’s that it’s a Samsung world. Samsung right now owns all of the profits in the Android marketplace and shares the entire smartphone industry’s profits with Apple. If LG hasn’t been able to overcome Samsung yet, not even the Optimus G Pro will be able to change that.
3. The 5.5-inch screen might be too big
The Optimus G comes with a 5.5-inch screen. While a larger screen has its advantages, there is a point when a smartphone’s screen becomes too big and unwieldy for the average customer. Samsung’s 5-inch Galaxy S 4 is awfully large to fit in a pocket. Now LG wants to push it further with a 5.5-inch screen. The Optimus G Pro’s screen might be a bit too big for the average customer who wants a smartphone that’s easy to carry around.
4. LG’s branding isn’t strong enough
LG is essentially the wannabe Samsung when it comes to consumer electronics. For years, it has tried to come out from under Samsung’s shadow in mobile, home appliances, and televisions. And each time it tries, LG fails. Until it can change its fate, it’s hard to see how LG will be able to assert itself in the smartphone marketplace with the Optimus G Pro.
LG Optimus G Pro Is a Strong Phone Lost in a Crowded Market
5. Previous Optimus devices didn’t attract attention
This isn’t the first time LG has tried its luck with a high-end device. For years now, LG has been selling flagship Optimus devices designed for customers willing to pay a bit more for more features. Still, most customers have ignored the Optimus to go elsewhere. That’s a problem for LG, and something that will hold this latest handset launch back.
6. It lacks ubiquity
For now, the LG Optimus G Pro is available only to AT&T customers. That’s an issue. As Apple and Samsung have both proven, having a device available on a wide array of carrier networks is extremely important. And the LG hasn’t been able to follow their lead so far.
7. Its design doesn’t set it apart
The Optimus G Pro appears to be a nice-looking device, but is it really special? The device has a prominent display, rounded edges, and a black finish. In other words, it’s awfully similar to every other smartphone available right now. LG needs to push the envelope on design.
8. The service integration is lacking
One of the key reasons Samsung and Apple are so successful is that they have applications that are fully integrated across all of their products. Both companies have their own application marketplaces, they offer ways to buy music and movies, and they deliver voice-activated services. LG is lacking in that full software integration. It hurts the company’s chances of success.
9. AT&T’s 4G LTE network is behind the curve
By bringing the Optimus G Pro to AT&T, LG is putting itself in a potentially troublesome position. AT&T’s 4G LTE network is still not nearly as accessible as Verizon’s and the company doesn’t even expect to catch up until the end of this year at the earliest. The importance of 4G LTE service cannot be discounted. Customers want to know that they can access the ultra-high-speed service no matter where they are. The trouble is, AT&T isn’t as accommodating on that front as it could be.
10. Timing is off
It’s amazing how many times an Android handset maker will enter the marketplace with a device that is supposed to be an iPhone killer just weeks before Apple launches its own product. As soon as that Android handset launches and starts to attract some attention, Apple announces a produce release event and consumers stand on the sidelines until Apple launches its latest iPhone or tablet. Competing devices that previously hit store shelves earlier tend to be forgotten. LG is falling into that trap with the Optimus G Pro. And once again, it doesn’t appear to understand how to avoid it.