A downfall in LG’s smartphone business has left its signature “Best Shops” in South Korea with gaps in shelves. The company plans on filling these gaps with products from a rival company, Apple. This has made Samsung upset. The company claims that the plan contravenes a prior arrangement between the two South Korean tech giants.
LG’s executives are planning to close the smartphone division in the best interests of the company. But this might come with some consequences shortly. One of these concerns is with the OEM’s chain of brick-and-mortar stores in its native South Korea. These stores are known as “LG Best Shops” to its approximate translation.
Now the main purpose of these stores was to stock up LG’s laptops, accessories, and smartphones. With the future looming dark upon all these product lineups, LG plans to fill up the vacant shelf spaces with Apple products, especially the iPhones.
LG’s Gram series are yet in production, so it isn’t easy to see the OEM stock MacBooks or Macs. However, iPhones are bound to be available in their Best Shops. According to recent reports by Korea Herald, Samsung has objected to LG’s plans.
Samsung’s Distaste in LG’s Plans
Samsung is also based in South Korea, and it runs its own Best Shop counterparts. Samsung claims that LG’s plan on stocking iPhones violates a prior agreement between the two OEMs. This agreement states that both OEMs would only stock their own brand products in their stores. This agreement would help them manage competition in the native market.
LG has defended its actions asserting that the agreement was subject to “re-negotiation” in an event where there was a major change in circumstances. Now, if LG were to proceed with its new partnership with Apple, Samsung would take a major blow in its home country. This would include a wholesale exit from the smartphone market. This hit will be exclusively in the 5G smartphone market share.
At present, Samsung is ranked 4th globally, whereas Apple firmly grips on to the 1st spot. iPhones have only had 1 generation 5G connectivity enabled models. This new sales market in South Korea would help them gain an even stronger hold by pushing Samsung back in their native country.