LG Electronics has exited mobile phones in South Korea but will continue selling its existing products (like Wing and Velvet) until the end of July 2021. The company’s smartphone business has not been profitable for over six years as it only changed its focus from feature phones to smartphones around 2010.
The proportion of consumers purchasing smartphones independently (rather than through a telecommunication company) will continue to rise in 2021. When consumers purchase a new smartphone via a telecommunication firm, they can receive exclusive deals that allow them to purchase the phone by paying monthly over two or three years.
Typically, electronics and appliance specialist retailers have been the vastly dominant channel for purchasing mobile phones. This is because consumers like to visit outlets to compare different smartphone models, ask about different service plans, and receive advice from in-store salespeople.
Over the forecast period, smartphones are expected to see accelerating growth due to new affordable versions of flagship smartphones, like the Galaxy S22. 5G smartphones are becoming mainstream and will attract more attention as more services are made available.
Feature phones will show persistently declining sales over the forecast period as telecommunication companies end their 2G offerings. In 2004, the South Korean government initiated an 010-prefix phone number system.
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