LG’s plans to sell iPhones in its Best Shop stores have been suspended after the public outcry from small and medium-sized businesses. The South Korean government has a policy that aims to protect small retailers by preventing giants like Samsung and LG from selling competing products in the stores they own.
The worry is that if they do, these large retail stores will keep customers away from the smaller ones – and the latter are already vulnerable enough due to the pandemic.
Of course, Samsung wasn’t a fan of this plan either as it feared that the increased availability of iPhones would threaten its domestic market share of 5G phones. LG has over 400 best shops across the country.
LG also has internal issues. Selling Apple products will take away labor and resources from LG product distribution channels. It is also believed that smartphone sales influence sales of household appliances (especially those with smart features related to a particular platform), so a loss of phone sales can also hurt other businesses – something that should worry LG and Samsung.
There are also stories of disagreements between Apple and LG, which are additional reasons to delay things. While LG wanted to have Apple gadgets in all its best stores, Cupertino was pushing for the deal to cover only about 200 stores, as the other locations didn’t meet its requirements.
LG reportedly stopped training its employees who were preparing to sell Apple products (including iPads and Apple watches). Whether or not this plan will resume after the pandemic is not clear – for now, LG calls it a “temporary” suspension.
The source (in Korean) | Going through