In response to smart phones, LG says ‘keep it simple, stupid.’

Takeaway: It’s a classic strategic response: when the competition goes left, you go right.

As Apple, RIM, and Google race to make the smartest phones, LG hopes to connect with customers looking for simplicity and style.

Though smart phone usage has grown exponentially, these devices capture less than 20 percent of all US cell phone users.

LG believes there is tremendous opportunity in focusing on the larger portion of the overall market. LG’s strategy also reduces dollars required for R&D that can instead be redirected to design, branding, and…oh yeah, shareholders.

Will LG prove that less is more? Or, will the market develop to expected more and drop LG’s call?
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Excerpt from Advertising Age, “Style Over Smarts: LG and Sprint Pitch Simpler Phones” by Andrew Hampp, April 8, 2010.

Even as Apple promises new features for the iPhone, the industry anticipates the iPhone’s arrival on Verizon and Palm retools its marketing strategy, LG and Sprint are starting a campaign aiming for the vast swath of consumers still choosing among simpler phones largely on the question of style.

The campaign and an accompanying MTV miniseries called “LG Fashion Touch” pair two LG phones being introduced April 19, the Lotus Elite and Rumor Touch, with Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria Parker, respectively. The Lotus Elite is an edgier, more colorful flip phone that suits Ms. Beckham’s bombshell look, while the Lotus Elite is a more sleek, classic phone that complements Ms. Longoria Parker’s daily style.

The smartphone wars still don’t apply to a large group of women, said a VP of marketing and innovation at LG.

“Although there’s a large percentage of consumers going to smartphones, there’s still another segment who are saying, ‘I want phones that reflect my personal style’ without all the bells and whistles of a smartphone.”

Indeed, only 19.4% of U.S. mobile phone subscribers were using smartphones in the three months ended Feb. 10, compared with 80.6% using simpler devices, according to ComScore.
Edit by BHC
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