April 22, 2016 : ZDNet.com
According to figures disclosed by a major telecommunications distributor in South Korea, LG has sold more than 160,000 G5 smartphones in South Korea in the first three weeks since the March 31 launch. That’s about twice as many as the company’s previous premium smartphone, the G4, in the first month of its launch in June 2014.
LG’s manufacturing facility in Pyeongtaek, outside Seoul, went into a 24-hour production cycle to stave off possible supply chain hiccups and meet the heightened demand, a company spokesperson said.
LG is estimated to ship as many as 9 million G5 units this year, a 66 percent increase over the G4 shipments of 5.41 million the previous year, according to an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.
In total, NH expects LG to ship a total of 62 million smartphones this year. The company shipped a total 59.7 million smartphones last year, a slight increase from the 59.1 billion shipped in 2014.
But the G4 sold poorly compared with its predecessor, the G3. According to figures by Jonathan Hwang, a tech analyst with KDB Daewoo Securities, sales of the G3 in the 12-month period from its release in June 2014 to May 2015 was about 13.5 million units, and 4.6 million units in the first four months.
LG’s new flagship smartphone with its innovative modular design appears ready to turn things around for the company’s mobile division.
And G5’s Friends accessories and peripherals that can be swapped out from the bottom of the handset will add to the company’s bottom line. Specific figures for module sales were not available.
LG’s Cam Plus appears the most popular module among consumers, followed by the Hi-Fi Plus audio module, according to NH Securities. The Cam Plus has a camera grip with buttons for power, shutter, record, and zoom. The unit also adds an exposure lock, and includes a 1200 mAh supplementary battery.
LG Hi-Fi Plus is the first module made by a third party developer, premium Scandinavian audio maker Bang & Olufsen. The mod clips to the base of the G5 to add an audiophile DAC and amplifier with its own headphone socket.
LG earlier this month announced plans to open a marketplace for developers to potentially buy and sell their own LG Friends products compatible with the G5.