Several notable points came to light in the press briefing. The first of which was the handset will also be known as the LG Prada phone, the exact same moniker the first phone went under.
Not LG Prada II, or LG Prada: The Next Generation. In fact nothing to separate it from the first phone which is confusing in itself. Not to mention screwing with people searching on info for the new mobile, which a CNET journo actually brought up and then added somewhat of awkward air to the conference.
How they’re getting around this issue is simple, they’re discontinuing the first phone. It’s as easy as that. The original LG Prada mobile has obviously out served its usefulness and it’s time to put it out to pasture, or put it out of its misery and out of their minds.
Initially they began selling the first phone in 4 countries and on the back of that success they expanded it to 44 more. This obviously proved to be a winner for them and not a bad strategy either.
They shifted over a million of the first generation mobiles, but oddly enough never touched down in America for any sales. This is a route they are duplicating with the new phone, and once again staying far far away from that market.
55% of the original LG Prada phone sales were in Europe alone, with the UK playing a key role within that success. Although we’re unsure what the figures were before the iPhone came out, or how many just bought the phone solely for the Prada name. Both of those stats would be of interest to see. If only to gauge if the phone really had an impact on early touch screen mobile sales and if a fashion name carries weight in Electronics.
This time around, they’re starting with 7 countries and are hitting up Asia in January. From all accounts that was a last minute play with the first LG Prada, from last year. So it’s good to know companies do learn from their success, beside from their failures.
Another point that came out that took us by surprise was the number of handsets LG launch in a year. They release 125 different mobiles on average, globally. Out of that figure, we were told typically only 25 of these phones will make it to the UK. Either proving that carriers are very choosey, we’re very picky as customers or a perhaps a bit of both. We suspect the latter is the case, which leads nicely into the first.
The original phone could be seen as being ahead of the game, which is a feeling jointly shared by both companies who are not shy in airing it either. In a previous piece we touched on the phone came out a good four months ahead of the initial Apple iPhone. Making it the first fully touch screen handset around, which could have led the way or even aided in Apples sales by making its play first.
With the new phone, they are aiming at attracting users who previously bought the first handset and are now looking for the latest and greatest. Although they didn’t actually say Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrepeat business is key to us’ but we could tell they wanted to.
They’re also going after the SMS or email driven users with the new addition of a keyboard. It doesn’t fully fall into the Smartphone category as do the likes of the HTC Touch Pro or Sony Ericsson X1, as it lacks decent business tools and associated features. It could however be seen as a stylish substitute or a fashionable alternative though.
Another point that came up during the briefing is that they’re selling the phone at the very same price as the first, 600 Euros SIM free. This can be seen several ways: either they’re addressing the market economy as it is today, or perhaps realising continuity is key in keeping the customer happy or just the times have moved on in technology on and what they’re included today is a fair and respectful price for what’s onboard.
Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see. With the competition for physical keyboard based phones being rather high at the moment. Especially with those current models already mentioned above are all baying for the same market share. LG are definitely hoping the Prada name will prove to be the deciding factor in sales. Time will tell.