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With India-centric W series, LG sets its sights on gaining mid-segment market share from Xiaomi, Realme

LG W10, W30 and W30 Pro have been launched in India. The W10 and W30 are priced at Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999, respectively. Both the W10 and W30 will go on sale on Amazon starting July 3.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi |
Updated: June 27, 2019 7:00:07 pm
LG, LG W series, LG W mobiles, LG W10 series, LG W10 price in India, LG W10 specifications, LG W30 price in India, LG W30 specifications, LG W30 Pro specifications, LG W30 Pro features LG W10, W30, W30 Pro series announced: Company says it took the them eight to nine months to prepare the W-series. (Image source: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Accepting that it was slow to respond to the smartphone market potential in India, South Korean electronics major LG has started on the path of a revamped strategy to capture consumer attention in India.

“Till now, our portfolio was driven by the global product requirements and the core product development was done keeping in mind that consumer base which definitely did not resonate well with the Indian consumer,” Advait Vaidya, Business Head – Mobile Communications, LG India, told in an interview. Vaidya, who was earlier with BlackBerry, said LG is changing its smartphone strategy in India with the launch of the W-series, mid-priced smartphones focused on battery life, audio, display and camera.

“A year back we got an exception from our HQ and they put confidence in us and let us create our own portfolio. The result of that is the W-series, a portfolio which has been created in India, keeping in mind the Indian consumer as well as the intense competition which exists in the space,” he explained.

Vaidya said it took the company eight to nine months to prepare the W-series. From concept to design to manufacturing, everything has been done in India. “So, this is the first time our subsidiary is creating their own portfolio. Everything has been done by the India team. However, quality which is a very important parameter is where Korea steps in again and does its own,” he said.

Read more: LG W10, W30 and W30 Pro launched in India: Price, specifications and features  | Read in Tamil |

Vaidya fully understands that the competition in India, especially in the sub-20k segment, is fiercely tough. This is the same segment where Chinese players Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme are selling high-spec phones at cheaper prices, putting immense pressure on earlier market leaders like Samsung. Indian brands have been wiped out off this segment.

LG, LG W series, LG W mobiles, LG W10 series, LG W10 price in India, LG W10 specifications, LG W30 price in India, LG W30 specifications, LG W30 Pro specifications, LG W30 Pro features LG W30 is seen in this photo. (Image source: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Despite the tough competition, Vaidya appears to be confident about the success of the India-centric W-series, which he said specifically caters to the 8k to 15k segment. The W10, W30 and W30 Pro will be sold exclusively on Amazon India.

Industry experts say LG’s decision to launch its India-specific W-series is clearly aimed at Xiaomi and Realme. “Price is very aggressive. I think this has been launched purely to take on Xiaomi and Realme in online space,” said Navkendar Singh, Research Director, IDC India. Singh said LG will get the initial volumes given the price segment the W-series caters to, but it remains to be seen if the company will be able to sustain these efforts in the long run.

He said, “The Indian smartphone market is consolidating and it’s getting very difficult for smaller players to increase their market share as larger players are getting, very large. I just hope LG will sustain these efforts and it’s not a flash in the pan.”

The company’s decision to revamp its smartphone portfolio isn’t limited to the mid-range segment. Vaidya said it plans to launch its flagship LG G8 ThinQ in India soon, which will focus on the premium segment (above Rs 30,000). While Vaidya did not reveal the exact price or launch window, he did mention that the phone “will fall in the price bracket of Rs 30,000-40,000.” There is a growing market for premium smartphones in India and LG is clearly looking to make an impression in that segment with the G8 ThinQ. Samsung, OnePlus and Apple are clearly the three biggest players in the premium segment in India right now.

LG also plans to bring its V50 ThinQ 5G to India, but is waiting for 5G services to go live in the country. “We can bring that or any 5G device which is available publicly at that point in time to market. So from a hardware perspective we are ready, we are waiting for the networks to live,” Vaidya said.

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