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South Korean electronics giant LG sees a “window of opportunity” amidst the growing anti-China sentiment in India and plans to launch smartphones in all budget segments. In an interview with Economic Times, Advait Vaidya, business head - mobile communications at LG Electronics said that the company has seen a 9 to 10 times increase in the sale of their smartphones in the past 2 months. It looks like LG is looking to capitalize on the anti-China sentiment and launch six smartphones across budgets, starting from the sub 10K segment going up to the premium flagship space.
Ever since the conflict on the India-China border, there has been a growing sentiment to ban Chinese products. We have already seen 59 Chinese apps banned in the country. When it comes to the smartphone market, Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Vivo and many more have dominated the space offering compelling hardware at affordable prices. So much so that local budget smartphone makers like Micromax, Lava and more have not been able to compete in the sub 15K space. So it looks like LG wants to swoop in and garner some market share in the budget space.
LG is looking to target the hottest sale season in India - Diwali and ensure its products are available and locally manufactured. In the interview, Advait Vaidya says, “In terms of manufacturing, we are ramping-up on a massive scale. If in January the capacity was X units, till August we will be producing 10X units and if all goes well, by Diwali we will be at 12-15X capacity”. Make in India will help LG not only keep the price of the smartphones down but also help in generating employment and help the local manufacturing sector overall.
Because of the pandemic, the sub 15k smartphone segment is the hottest as people don't want to spend too much money on a mobile phone. And it looks like LG will focus here as well. Advait Vaidya says, “According to what we are seeing, the demand definitely is in the affordable category, that is, below Rs 15,000 because of COVID impact on consumers' spending. So, that is an important area for us. But our flagship portfolio will be intact. Most of the global launches in the premium segment will be brought here as well”.
LG showed off its flagship 2020 OLED series at CES 2020 and even though LGs 2020 TV portfolio is available internationally, it is yet to launch in India. The delay is due to the ongoing pandemic, of course. Usually, June-July sees the launch of new TVs in the country from flagship brands like LG, but we will have to wait and see when and how the brands bring its new portfolio to India.
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