UPDATE : 2018.3.22 THU 15:17
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LG Electronics to focus on ABCDs to revitalize ailing smartphone biz

LG Electronics Inc. said Tuesday it will focus on audio, batteries, cameras and displays, referred to by the acronym ABCDs in South Korea, to beef up its smartphone division, which has been suffering losses for nearly three years.

During the meeting with reporters at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which is being held in Barcelona, Spain, Hwang Jeong-hwan, who leads the company's mobile business, said LG plans to regain its market credibility by meeting customer demands.

"It is regrettable that LG Electronics did not do better. We will improve ourselves down the road," Hwang said. "LG Electronics will renovate itself in every aspect to improve fundamentals of the mobile business."

It was Hwang's first official meeting with reporters after being named to his post in November.

"It feels like I have been in the post for three years, when it is really three months," Hwang said. "We have been focusing on innovations and following rivals' features, but the results weren't satisfactory. We ended up with a cost structure that we cannot sustain."

Hwang said LG ended up losing its customers' faith, saying the company will aim to release smartphones that people can use for a long time.

The company has been posting net losses in its mobile arm for 11 consecutive quarters. Responding to the situation, LG hinted it plans to improve the basic earnings structure of the mobile business, rather than to just focus on adopting new features that could end up pushing up prices.

Hwang also complimented Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S9 smartphone.

"The Galaxy S9 maintained the same design with the predecessor. I think that was a good idea," Hwang said.

The mobile head added LG will not hurry in adopting a new smartphone brand, which was considered as a means to break out of the current doldrums.

"Replacing or changing brands takes time, so we do not plan to hurry," Hwang said. "This year, LG will release a totally new premium smartphone that stands out from its predecessors with an emphasis on the ABCDs of the product," Hwang added.

Hwang Jeong-hwan, who leads LG Electronics Inc.'s mobile business, speaks to reporters during a press conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 27, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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