LG has had a really strong year, but what are the company's mobile highlights? And what's coming next? We've been digging to find out...
LG has had a great 2014. It’s been a year in which the company has focussed all of its efforts on one flagship handset, and the result – the stunning LG G3 – is a prime candidate for phone of the year.
To get the inside story, and to see if we can glean some information on what’s coming next, we’ve been speaking to LG’s Head of Mobile in the UK, Andy Coughlin. Read on for a look back at the year that was, and a peek at what 2015 has in store for one of Android’s biggest mobile makers…
The year of the G3
“2014 has been an excellent year for us,” Andy says. “LG has consolidated its position in the market, and its products are available in more places than ever before.”
And the main story, of course, is the LG G3, with its beautiful Quad-HD display and simple software. So what does Andy think of the G3 and its success in 2014?
“The G3 has been a real breakthrough,” he says. “The G2 won many awards and proved our capabilities in the smartphone arena, but the G3 has really built on this foundation, outselling its predecessor and proving to be a real competitor to the other market leading devices available.
“We were admittedly a little later in joining the smartphone market to others, but the G3 has really proved itself since it’s unveil in July in a number of ways. One is making sure that the device carries the latest innovations, boasting features such as a laser-autofocus camera and Quad-HD display. The second is by focusing on the end user benefits rather than its healthy spec list when communicating about the device to our consumers.”
“We’ve been talking increasingly about how the handset compliments one’s lifestyles – such as its extensive industry leading battery life – rather than communicating only about specs, specs, specs. And with this has come praise from across consumer technology press as well as directly from our customers:
“The reaction has been tremendous,” Andy explains. “We were very lucky this year in that we won the Mobile Choice Consumer Award for the most innovative device in 2014, and, most recently, we also won the Recombu Award for best phone of 2014, were named Trusted Review’s Best Phone of 2014 – and took home Android Magazine’s Best phone of the year award for 2014. Needless to say we are thrilled with this reception from our consumers as well as our tech press, as it is the great British public that vote for these prestigious awards.”
The trends that shaped 2014
With 2014 drawing to a close, it’s time to look back at the trends that have defined the year in mobile. For LG, smartwatches and displays have been the headline stories:
“Display has been the leading trend in 2014,” Andy tells us. “With 4G becoming more widely available, people want to consume more video content, both on the move and at home, and naturally where this consumer viewing habit leads, larger screens will follow. For LG however, it has been about so much more than just size, with the brand proudly displaying screen innovations such as Quad-HD, providing four times the quality of an HD display, as well as ensuring that the smartphone footprint that encases the stunning larger screen remains comfortable in the hand,” he says. “We’re right at the leading edge of that trend.
“Wearables are absolutely crucial for the future, as the category continues to build. A lot of people don’t realise that LG was the first company to offer a smartwatch over five years ago with the Prada Smartwatch. This was followed up with the G Watch this year, which was the world’s first Android Wear device. Most recently we have been proud to launch the G Watch R, which was named Pocket-Lint’s wearable of the year award and has hit the shops in time for Christmas.”
Andy and LG believe that smartwatches are going to become even bigger in 2015, and he’s convinced that we’ll all soon be wearing our tech as well as holding it:
“It is paramount for the future that wearables become the norm and are adopted by the masses. They need to add value to people beyond just counting your steps and we believe Google’s Android Wear OS really makes these devices something that offer true tangible benefits.”
And while we’re on the subject of Android, Andy reveals LG’s plan to keep bang up to date with the latest software…
“We’ll be updating the G3 to Android Lollipop,” he says, “and everything we do in 2015 will be Lollipop and above. We certainly won’t be launching any new devices without the latest version of Android.”
2015: Lookin’ Good
Time for the big question: what does LG’s 2014 say about what’s coming up next? What can we learn about the future of LG’s products from what it’s launched this year? When it comes to future gazing, the G3’s focus on simplicity is key:
“The G3 marks LG’s efforts to streamline the user interface for a clean, easy and intuitive experience,” Andy says. “We’ve greatly reduced the amount of software complexity and embedded apps that are downloaded as standard, and allowed greater customisation than ever before – such as app removal, UI personalisation and software button positioning. We’ve really tried to empower people to set up the G3 in a way that suits their style, rather than dictating what their experience should be.
“We’ve realised that people are becoming much more interested in the technology available at their fingertips and want to ensure that their path to unlocking their smartphone’s capabilities is as quick and easy as possible.”
“This is something that we will continue to develop into 2015. That’s LG’s mantra, we listen to our consumers to find out what they enjoyed and what they would like to see improved. You’ll see that we’ll harness this feedback to improve our products and continue to lead in smartphone innovation.”
So does that mean we can expect to see some pretty stellar products from LG in 2015?
“We will, of course, have a new range of devices next year across tablets, wearables and smartphones as you would expect,” Andy says. “We’ll learn from our consumers, and make sure that their preferences are at the forefront of everything we do in 2015, so watch this space.”