Report: Samsung is pressuring LG to also sell Galaxy phones at its stores, not just iPhones
LG’s plans to sell iPhones at the LG Best Shop in South Korea are facing opposition. Samsung is upset and claims that such a move would be in breach of an agreement signed by the two companies in 2018, which states that only LG-made phones can be sold in LG-powered stores, and on similarly, only Samsung phones can be sold in Samsung stores (this deal was to protect small and medium-sized stores from the two giants).
However, LG points to a clause in the agreement that says it can be renegotiated in the event of major changes. And things actually changed significantly when LG left the mobile industry. The association that initiated the deal also questions LG’s move, but an official agreed that a renegotiation should follow under the circumstances.
Samsung fears that iPhones becoming available in 400+ LG stores around Korea will threaten market share for its 5G smartphones. Apple is the largest provider of 5G phones globally, Samsung is fourth (although it is growing fastest). And there are new all-5G iPhone models coming in September or October, right after the LG / Apple deal goes live (reportedly on August 1st).
Speaking of which, the original plan was to sell iPhones, iPads and Apple watches (though no Macs, as LG did not want competition for its own computers). The latest report is that this has been revised to only sell iPhones.
Samsung is trying to put pressure on LG indirectly by asking Korea’s three major carriers (including LG U +) to demand that LG also carry Galaxy phones in the best retail locations. Of course, this deal may be subject to some internal resistance as it may remove sales from Samsung stores.