LG Electronics will release its dual-screen 5G smartphone “V50 ThinQ” on May 10. It is the company’s second premium smartphone to be released this year, following the release of the "G8 ThinQ" in March. LG Electronics is pinning hopes on the V50 ThinQ as market response to the G8 ThinQ has been quiet, contrary to its expectations.
LG Electronics and the three mobile operators take pre-orders for the new smartphone for two days from May 8.
What is noteworthy is that LG Electronics has taken various measures to boost early sales of its V50 ThinQ. First of all, the store price of the latest model is 1,199,000 won (US$1,025), about 200,000 won cheaper than Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S10 5G.
"Considering that 5G phones have a higher cost increase than current 4G phones, it is unusual to set the price at 1.1 million won," said an LG Electronics official. The company explained that it reduced store prices to lower the cost burden on customers.
In addition to a low price, a variety of other benefits are offered. LG Electronics will first provide a free replacement service once a year for customers who purchase the product by May 13, if the display is damaged within a year of purchase. In addition, the company will offer a free "dual screen" worth 219,000 won to customers who purchase the V50 ThinQ by the end of June. These customers can also benefit from the "LG Customer Safety Compensation Program" when they return the smartphones they have been using.
All of these benefits are concentrated on customers who purchase the new smartphone at the beginning of the launch. Its strategy is to sell as many phones as possible in the early stages of the launch. The role of the V50 ThinQ has become even more important as the G8 ThinQ has failed to make a successful debut. The operating loss of the company’s MC Business Division, which is in charge of the smartphone business, is over 200 billion won in the first quarter of this year alone.
Market watchers say that there is some possibility of V50 ThinQ becoming a hit. "We believe there is some demand for 'multitasking' functions of the dual-screen smartphone," said an industry analyst. LG Electronics is continuously emphasizing the multi-tasking functions of the V50 ThinQ.
LG Electronics has high expectations for the new 5G handset. "Only LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics are able to supply 5G handsets in North America and South Korea in the first half of this year," said an LG Electronics official during a conference call held shortly after its announcement of the first-quarter earnings on April 30. “Based on 5G technology, we have taken care to ensure initial performance stability. We are confident of success in the Korean and North American markets," he said. Whether such confidence can become a reality depends on how the V50 ThinQ performs initially in the market.