LG G3 launches 27 May, but is already 'late to the party'

The LG G3 will be officially unveiled, but with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 already on shop shelves experts say it may not be the sales boost LG hopes.

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The LG G2 boasts a quad-core 2.3GHz processor under the hood. CNET

LG is taking the wraps off its new flagship the G3 on 27 May -- but with the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 already in shops, one analyst says LG is "late to the party."

Invitations have been sent out to press inviting members of the fourth estate to simultaneous launch events in London, New York and San Francisco on 27 May. The following day there'll be similar events in Istanbul, Seoul and Singapore. The launches, a month from now, will introduce us to the follow-up to the LG G2 with a tagline quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To be simple is to be great."

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"To be simple is to be great," according to LG LG

But is life good for the G3? "LG's product portfolio has improved immeasurably in the last 18 months across all price points," says industry analyst Ben Wood of CCS Insight, "but this has not translated into a meaningful improvement in sales to date. LG will be hoping that the G3 has more impact than its predecessor but that remains a tall order."

"Samsung and Sony continue to dramatically outspend LG in marketing. Furthermore, both companies have already launched their 2014 flagship products so LG is arguably "late to the party".

"A further challenge will be the ascendency of Chinese manufacturers," adds Wood, "particularly in the market for low-tier Android devices where LG has strong products but is under constant price and margin pressure."

Mobile pressure

LG did better than expected in its latest financial results, but that's driven by other parts of the business, including TVs and home appliances. The mobile division is making a loss as sales dipped in the last three months from shipments that at times hit record numbers last year.

It's a mobile world these days, but that doesn't mean mobile is the key to success. Samsung may make two thirds of its revenue from mobile devices and Apple is still selling more iPhones than anyone expected, but in the trenches LG isn't the only mobile manufacturer fighting to stay in the game. Take Panasonic -- another company that, like LG, makes lots of different products -- which had to ditch consumer mobile devices completely in order to climb back into the black.

Still, 75 percent of LG's mobile sales are smartphones, which earn the company higher margins, and it also sold a record number of 4G LTE phones. Reporting the results this week, LG quietly confirmed the name of the G3 with the optimistic suggestion that "Higher revenues are expected in the second quarter with the release of the flagship LG G3 smartphone."

Rumours suggest the G3 could have a 2K display atop a dust-proof and water-resistant body. Inside is rumoured to be a whopping 3GB of RAM. We'll be at the launch, so keep it CNET for all the first pictures, videos and hands-on first impressions.

As well as the G3, LG has the G Watch smartwatch in the pipeline, which may make a surprise appearance at the launch next month -- it's set for a June launch, according to LG in France.

 

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