LG has a business relationship with Apple. The group's display panel subsidiary LG Display currently supplies in-plane switching panels to Apple, which is one of its biggest clients. A report published this morning states that LG's public attacks on Apple as part of its marketing campaign at times borders on slander which could escalate unwanted tension between LG Display and Apple.
According to the Korean report, LG Group's subsidiaries have taken jabs at Apple with aggressive newspaper ads and posters targeting Apple but industry observers believe it will not help the group's short-term growth as well as its long-term globalization strategy.
The only manufacturer without variants of its handset line, a "one-size-fits-all phone" in the industry is Apple, making the target somewhat obvious.
Posters on the majority of stores owned by or affiliated with LG Uplus, the mobile carrier arm of LG Group, unabashedly slam the iPhone 5.
The ads contain mocking phrases such as, the "iPhone 5?" it's "Really disappointing!" Another one states: the "iPhone 5? It will stifle you the more you use it!" Other variants openly mock Apple's latest offering to the local market.
LG goes into detail about what they believe to be unattractive features of the iPhone. They call the 4-inch screen "too small," its download speed being only "80 percent of its competitors," and "a phone that isolates a consumer by having no up-to-date apps available." LG also notes the iPhone's absence of near field communication (NFC) and digital media broadcasting (DMB).
LG's Uplus spokesman Kim Sang-pyo stated that "Our posters contain facts on the iPhone 5, and isn't slander. It is just a fact that the iPhone 5 has no NFC, no DMB. Its screen is comparatively small so that is also true. Other nuanced phrases are usually adopted for marketing. We are absolutely not targeting Apple as a company and the messages on the posters are not our official stance." And yet they boldly published their "stance" for all the public to see. The hypocrisy is evident.
The graphic above is a newspaper ad by LG Electronics that shows the firms's Optimus G Smartphone Slice through an Apple that goes along with the attacks on Apple.
What is it with the Koreans? Both Samsung and now LG appear have proven to be two-faced partners. Will Apple's CEO Tim Cook react by eventually phasing out LG Display from their supply chain as they did Samsung? Only time will tell. But until then, what's your take on this latest LG marketing campaign?