LG Electronics will start selling iPhones in its stores in South Korea. The rumor had circulated a few weeks ago and now there’s confirmation.
Resistance had initially been expressed by some local distributors over an action seen as potentially violating an agreement that prevents anti-competitive behavior between LG and Samsung. In 2018, the two South Korean companies agreed to sell only phones under their respective brands and not those of other manufacturers in their stores, in order not to compete with smaller distributors in the phone business.
In April this year, LG announced the closure of its global phone division and decided to focus more resources in other areas. Since the company no longer manufactures and sells phones under its own brand, it can now sell smartphones from other manufacturers in its retail stores.
The association that represents small retailers in South Korea reports that it has signed a new contract with LG that allows the South Korean company to sell phones under a different brand.
LG is expected to start selling iPhones in its stores starting in August. The stores will feature not only iPhones but also other Apple products, including the Apple Watch.
ZDNet reports that LG currently boasts 400 stores in South Korea. Offering Apple products will be an added plus point compared to Samsung’s stores. Stores of the two South Korean companies have always competed for customers by the sound of various offers and promotions.
Since May, Apple and Samsung, in collaboration with local phone operators, have started offering discounts to users who returned their LG smartphones to upgrade to iPhones or Galaxy.
According to research by Counterpoint, in South Korea Samsung boasts 65% market share, Apple 20% and LG 13%.
As mentioned, exiting smartphone manufacturing and sales will allow LG to focus on areas such as electric vehicles, IoT and B2B solutions along with platforms and services.