In the drive to gain traction in the premium smartphone device category to catch up with Sony, HTC, Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry gadgets, LG Electronics is set to boost its South African staff complement by a third to service growth ambitions following the launch of its premium smartphone LG G2 last week.
The general manager Deon Prinsloo is said to be confident that his firm would pave way into the local market dominated by Samsung as many customers find the smartphones more favourable than feature phones.
The LG G2 was not only launched last week in Johannesburg but in other African countries. While the LG G2 phone aims to win favour among clients, the G2 is reportedly listed with all the wireless network providers in the country that had not been the case with previous cellphone handsets offered by the firm, noted Prinsloo.
Based on the firms research, the R1,0,000 to R3,0000 (about $120 to $350USD) price band was contracting as customers demanded higher priced cell phones with bigger display screens and faster processing power. The growth was also evident in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Indian ocean countries in which LG was gaining popularity, reports say.
However, it is speculated that LG’s biggest challenge would be to create a compelling awareness of its product. In South Africa, for instance noted tech consulting firm World Wide Worx MD, Arthur Goldstuck it was “very much a peripheral brand among consumers but the G2 could certainly change that”.
The LG G2 was also criticized by other analysts as a smartphone that compared well within its rank to the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Sony Experia, he said. While it maintained the body size of it rivals, the phone had a larger display screen, which bolstered its appeal.
While the sales team was small and required a boost to enable the company to pursue new routes to market, LG plans recruit new enterprise partners, key account managers, and specialists in prepaid and postpaid selling in the new year, Prinsloo said. The company was also targeting the enterprise segment to provide solutions, as its biggest focus lies in establishing itself with consumers in general.
The company was in discussions with local operators to educate the market on what was possible using the phones, devices and data. Nevertheless, despite the criticisms, towards the end of December, LG will launch its first tablet locally.