Update: It appears that the original Korean media source has retracted its story so it may not have been true.
What could Samsung possibly want from LG? The two used to be fierce competitors in the smartphone market at one time but are now at complete polar opposites. Samsung is one of the largest smartphone vendors in the world. LG has admitted defeat and formally exited the smartphone market.
Like Samsung, LG is a conglomerate with many different businesses under its umbrella. Among them is the vast retail network of LG Best Shops in South Korea that sell mobile devices, smartphones, home appliances, etc. With the threat of Apple on the horizon, Samsung is now requesting LG to sell its Galaxy phones at the LG Best Shops.
Samsung wants to stop Apple, even if it has to swallow its pride
It was recently reported that LG is going to sell Apple products including the iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch at its 400 LG Best Shops across South Korea from August 1. Major Korean carriers are apparently opposed to the decision but LG Electronics, which runs this retail network, has decided to sell Apple products.
This decision appears to have distressed Samsung. The company is reportedly seeking an urgent cooperation with LG so that its Galaxy phones are also sold in the LG Best Shops. The request has been made to LG Electronics on behalf of Samsung Electronics by three of the country’s largest carriers.
Samsung seeks to protect its 5G smartphone market share. It could be under threat if Apple’s 5G iPhones are sold through such a major retail network. The company wants to contain iPhone sales in the country as much as possible. That’s why it seeks cooperation with LG Electronics.
Sources in the South Korean telecommunications company say that it’s unusual for Samsung to make such a request. That’s due to the relationship between Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. They have long been rivals and Samsung has beaten LG in the smartphone market. However, with the Apple threat now looming, Samsung is having to swallow its pride as it wants LG to consider its request.
Those sources believe it’s unlikely that LG Electronics will consider this request even if its being made by the major carriers. There’s also opposition from the National Mobile Telecommunications Distribution Association. It’s concerned about small and medium-sized distribution networks seeing a decline in sales as a result of this.
Samsung may also see opposition to this cooperation with LG from within the company. Samsung Digital Plaza, the company’s own retail network, gets about a third of its sales from smartphones. Digital Plaza sales could thus take a hit if Galaxy phones are sold through LG Best Shops.