Renewed focus on R&D starting to pay off for LG

Renewed focus on R&D starting to pay off for LGLG has been quite outspoken in recent months about its determination to close the widely acknowledged gap between itself and true Android frontrunners Samsung and HTC in the mobile market.

Soundbites are one thing, though, but actual results take time, effort and of course money. Which is precisely why LG's rivals might want to check out an interesting point buried near the end of a new report on LG's financial position.

LG is one of the biggest electronics companies in the world, but while we can't speak for its washing machines and fridges, when it comes to smartphones it has never quite been able to find a winning formula – or not for very long, anyway.

But things are clearly looking up after a strong showing at Mobile World Congress 2012 – or more accurately before MWC, as it leaked the life out of its Barcelona bounty the week before the event.

Now comes a report from Yonhap saying investment bank Nomura Securities International has upped its recommendation on LG stock from “neutral” to “buy”, singling out its TV and handset division as spearheading the company's upward momentum.

That's not the bit we're interested in, however. It's this: “LG Electronics has improved the overall quality of its smartphones by assigning more research and development (R&D) staff to the business, with an estimated 60-70 percent of LG Electronics' 8,000 R&D employees focusing on smartphone development at the end of 2011, compared to 20 percent of 6,800 R&D employees having focused on smartphone development as of the beginning of 2011.”

Going by those figures we're talking an increase in the number of Lucky Goldstar R&D bods from 1,360 at the start of last year to 4,800-5,600 a year later. That's a pretty significant jump.

That's by no means a guarantee of success – if you're digging a hole for yourself, giving more people spades just leaves you with a bigger hole – but it's hard to deny that LG is already seeing results, and unless the swell in numbers is just temporary, will continue to do so.

Read more about: Android

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Guan  Mar. 8, 2012 at 11:17

For me the problem with LG phones is not their hardware, but lack and speed of software updates. I have the Optimus 3D which is an awesome piece of engineering, but to release Gingerbread over a year after it was announced is unforgivable. Even the yet to be released 3D Max will only ship with GB with ICS coming probably a few months after Jelly Bean has been announced.

Pondlife  Mar. 8, 2012 at 11:54

Does make you wonder what those 4000+ people are doing if they are that slow.


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