LG has announced its plans to sell iPhones in its South Korean brick-and-mortar shops. Although a bit surprising, the move isn't completely outlandish once you consider that the South Korean giant quit making smartphones back in April. LG currently operates around 400 stores in South Korea, and it doesn't take a retail expert to figure that empty smartphone shelves are not good for your business.
As first reported by ZDNet, iPhone and other Apple products will start showing up in LG stores starting from August. For years, LG offered a variety of G and V series Android smartphones at hundreds of retail locations. While one could argue that Samsung's Android smartphones would have been a more relevant fit for LG stores, the two Korean companies are fierce competitors. Things have been quite hostile between them especially after Samsung accused a senior LG official of damaging its washing machines at IFA 2014 in Berlin.
Samsung might not be too happy with this news as it has been slowly losing market share to Apple in its home country. As per StatCounter, Samsung's market share has reduced from 65.6 percent in June 2020 to 63 percent in June 2021. In the same period, Apple's share increased from 23.4 percent to 27 percent.
It is reported that in a bid to protect smaller distributors in South Korea, brands such as Samsung and LG were only allowed to sell their own products in showrooms and experience centers. Hence, LG's plan to sell Apple products in its stores was met with resistance from the local phone distributors. However, LG eventually worked out a solution with the association that represents small distributors to stock Apple's devices.