Interview: LG SA on G6 price, free screen repairs and more

LG G6, smartphones

The LG G6 launch event took place yesterday (4 April), with the South Korean firm revealing pricing and more details surrounding the launch.

We interviewed Deon Prinsloo, general manager for mobile communication at LG Electronics SA, covering pricing, competitors and more.

For the uninitiated, the G6 will have a retail price of R14 629, making it slightly cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S8. Still, there’s the perception that the phone should’ve possibly been on par with the G5, which had an R11 799 price tag. What does LG make of that?

“If we have a look at it in terms of the post-paid environment, because in South Africa, the bulk of our consumers… purchase their phones on classic post-paid (network contracts). We launched the G5 at between R549 to R569 (per month)… We are launching the G6 at R599. So in terms of the post-paid leap, it’s R30, which is truly negligible,” Prinsloo told Gearburn, adding that you’re getting “far better” specifications for “R30 more”.

G6 versus S8 pricing

What about thoughts that the G6 should’ve been even cheaper than the Galaxy S8, due to the older chip being used on LG’s device?

“So, if you have a look at it, the G6 is definitely more affordable than the S8 propositions. That’s clear. But I do not think it’s right to say that because of the chipset, it should be more affordable. It’s our active goal to really bring affordable super-premium devices to South African consumers. And we do not understand why there is a premium of R100+ between a G6, for example, and an S8+. I think that’s a question to be posed at Samsung, because I do believe in a lot of instances, that consumers are paying a premium that’s not justifiable at present.”

LG also shed light on its general high-end marketshare targets for South Africa in 2017, as well as its G6 targets for the country.

“Based on G6, we want to approach more than 5% marketshare,” LG Mobile’s SA product director, CH Yoo, told Gearburn. “In terms of Android market in (the) high-end, we can reach 7% marketshare.”

Was the G5 a sales success in South Africa?

Interestingly enough, Prinsloo said that the G5 performed well in the South African market.

“G5 was really well received by SA consumers. We had growth of over 50% year-on-year with G5 sales… sell-out… versus G4 numbers,” the LG executive explained.

“We’ve had double digit growth year-on-year in SA, since the launch of the G2 in 2013. So South African consumers have been very very good to LG Mobile as a brand.”

From marketshare targets to pricing, we interviewed LG’s local executives at the LG G6 SA launch

So the G5 actually outperformed the G4, then?

“Correct. Absolutely. And the same scenario played out… G4 outperforming G3 as well.”

Samsung and Huawei have also been offering free screen repairs within a timeframe (usually 24 months) with their recent smartphones. Can we expect the same from LG, then?

“It’s not something that we’re looking at, at present,” Prinsloo said, but added that the phone has been extensively tested for screen damage.

“We are working closely with the carriers to reduce the cost of having a display replaced on an LG mobile phone…”

The Tone Ultra headset in SA?

Of course, the LG G6 will be bundled with a 64GB microSD card and the Tone Ultra Bluetooth headset. Can we expect the latter to be available as a standalone option in South Africa?

“We are at the moment working with a franchise partner as well as CelCom, our appointed distributor, to make that available as a direct purchase. There are also discussions currently in place with a leading online retailer, I think watch this space…”



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