After nearly six years of losses, South Korea’s LG Electronics has decided to withdraw from the smartphone market and focus on other areas instead, including home electronics, connected devices, and smart vehicle components.
The total losses of the LG’s mobile division amount to $4.5 billion even though the brand currently enjoys the third place in the United States, after Apple and Samsung Electronics.
“In the United States, LG has targeted mid-priced — if not ultra-low — models and that means Samsung, which has more mid-priced product lines than Apple, will be better able to attract LG users,” commented Ko Eui-young, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities.
For a long time, LG was considered to be one of the most innovative smartphone manufacturers, pioneering ultra-wide-angle cameras, dual-display devices, vein-tracking aerial gestures, and swappable components. Unfortunately, most of its innovations failed to gain any significant traction among consumers.
To make things even worse, some of the more recent flagship models have suffered both software and hardware problems, and professional reviewers were quick to point them out, steering potential buyers toward other brands.
Currently, LG’s global share is only around 2 percent, with 23 million smartphones shipped last year. When compared with Samsung’s 256 million shipped units, the company’s decision to withdraw from the smartphone market suddenly becomes easier to understand.
It’s also worth pointing out that successful Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO, have greatly increased buyers’ expectations by offering flagship specifications at mid-range prices.
The good news is that current employees of LG’s mobile division won’t lose their jobs — at least not those who are based in South Korea. Instead, they will be moved to other electronics divisions. Owners of LG smartphones also have nothing to worry about because both service support and software updates will continue to be provided even in the near future.
Stripe Enters The Middle East With Its UAE Launch
Stripe will initially only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
Stripe, a provider of online payment processing for internet business, has finally expanded to the Middle East with its official launch in the United Arab Emirates. The Irish-American company also opened an office in Dubai Internet City, allowing it to be closer to its new customer base.
At first, Stripe will only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe. “Our launch today also means we can now connect our global user base to the Gulf, enabling them to seamlessly expand their operations in the region.”
Stripe’s entry into the Middle East market comes just weeks after its latest round of funding, which has resulted in the company’s value jumping up to $95 billion and making it one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world.
The UAE is the perfect entry point for the online payment processing provider because the total value of digital payment transactions in the gulf country has doubled in the last two years alone, reaching $18.5 billion in 2020. If the UAE remains on the current growth trajectory, its e-commerce sector is expected to add nearly another $10 billion over the next two years.
Another factor that makes the UAE such an ideal expansion point is the fact that accepting online payments in the country has historically been incredibly challenging. Stripe provides a straightforward setup process and developer-friendly APIs, making it easy for companies of all sizes to improve their online presence.
Last year, Stripe launched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. The company also expanded into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack. In total, Stripe currently processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year.