5 ways LG can conquer the smartphone world

5 ways LG can conquer the smartphone world
Keep the girls. Don't ever get rid of the girls.

It's no secret LG is struggling in the smartphone market after too many anonymous handsets, but we've seen reason to not count the Korean brand out yet.

Far be it for us to tell a multi-billion pound corporation how to act, but having spent a few days in the company's South Korean headquarters it's clear to see there are areas we think could be tweaked to bring it back to the cutting edge of the smartphone market.

The main thing that sprung from the trip was the passion within the firm over its products; from TVs to fridges to massage chairs, there's a real belief among the workers in the LG brand, which makes it all the more confusing - and upsetting for those that remember owning a decent LG phone - to see the once-dominant handset maker languishing around fifth place in the worldwide rankings.

From TV DNA to an altered design language, here are five things that, should LG bring to the market, would make it a real contender in a sea of iPhones, Galaxies and Ones.

1. Tell us about it

It's tough in the smartphone market; a real 'chicken and egg' situation. There's a notion that you have to have to networks on board and stocking your phone to get the brand in the public eye, to get buzz around the name.

But without the buzz, the networks aren't going to be as interested in stocking the phones…therein lies the rub.

However, the only way to break that cycle is to firstly, have a decent product (and the strong combination of hardware and software of the Optimus G certainly is that) and then have an event that rivals the likes of the Samsung S3 launch: a worldwide bonanza that shouts about a decent product.

Instead LG has launched the phone in one market, with two more to come, and we may not even see it on European shores until 2013. Compare that to Apple or Samsung, which can ship within a month, and you can see that LG needs to stop acting like the underdog if it wants to stop being one.

2. Relaunch the design

This is a big one: LG's smartphones are relatively well-made and the software is powerful… but not powerful enough to make people forget about phones past.

The truth is that while LG has had some success in this area, it's never managed to recreate the success of the Chocolate line from years ago. The memories of the likes of the Optimus 2X, which had issues with software and updates, don't disappear from consumers' memories easily.

So while the new UX user interface is good and the hardware solid, LG needs to show the world that it's ready to have another, stronger stab at the smartphone market. The Optimus G's design lineage can be traced from the Chocolate, so Chul-bae Lee, head of LG's design lab told us.

He spoke of how the company wanted to remind consumers of LG's brand strength, and while that might be true on its home turf, Europe and the US need to see a new identity for LG, as right now it doesn't have one beyond 'Oh, I used to have an LG phone. They were good back in the day'.

3. Focus on Android updates

We don't mean this in the way we've said before: it's not just about the right of the consumer having the best Android version on offer. It's now about showing the strength and speed of a brand, and LG needs to move from providing vague updates on future releases (for instance, we were told that Jelly Bean would be coming to the Optimus G 'sometime this year') and positioning itself as a leader in the field, giving buyers confidence they'll have the best in an LG handset.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.