With LG gone, it’s time for Apple to get weird
LG is shutting down its smartphone division after struggling to make profits in the last several years. The news wasn’t necessarily a shock to anyone following the smartphone market, but for people who liked phones that weren’t just slabs, it’s hard not to feel a little sad. LG’s phones often had interesting features or form factors that other manufacturer’s never tried, and that kind of innovation has fans. Fans that now are wondering where to go.
In the wake of LG’s demise, any company could step up to the plate and start making weird phones, so why not Apple? Apple already has a huge part of the market share and has its own loyal fan base. Plus, it certainly has the capital and resources to fund some interesting experiments. So, what would it look like if Apple got weird?
LG’s record of making weird phones is well documented
LG had a history of making cool and weird phones, even way before smartphones were widespread. My first phone ever was an LG Fusic (picture above), which was an MP3 player and had an FM Tuner and FM Transmitter inside. A whole year before the first iPhone was ever released, I was listening to my own music through my car radio with my flip phone, and there wasn’t a cable or Bluetooth connection in sight. To me at the time, it really did feel like I was holding a part of the future, and the Fusic is only one phone of many LG made that did things a little different.
As you can see in Mr. Mobile’s video, LG made some really cool phones in the past. Even if they weren’t all blockbusters, they were willing to take risks. The most recent LG phone that turned a lot of heds was the LG Wing, which by all accounts was really cool but likely a tad expensive for what it was — an experiment. Phones like the LG Wing weren’t ever really expected to sell millions of units but rather push the envelope of what a smartphone could be. Of course, it’s tough to make a living in the smartphone market if all you’re known for is being weird. This is where Apple comes in.
Apple should take risks and make weird phones
Since its very first iteration, Apple has always strived to make the iPhone the best iPhone it can be — Apple hasn’t always been the pioneers of innovation when it comes to the iPhone lineup. This conservative approach has obviously worked out well for Apple since they keep making money hand over fist, and they likely have minimal incentive to change their ways. Wouldn’t it be great if they did, though?
Apple has long been criticized for lack of innovation when it comes to the iPhone, and it often looks and mostly functions the same year after year. It doesn’t have to be like this if Apple is willing to take some risks. Apple should make a new phone like something we’ve never seen. Whether it’s a crazy form factor or some cool new innovative features, they are in the perfect position to push the smartphone market to new heights and not flame out as LG did.
Look, I’m not even saying that the iPhone should change. Apple can continue to make the iPhone every year and offer consumers — and more importantly, investors — a very reliable device that will sell well. But they can make an experimental smartphone division and really start to brew up some weird phones in that fancy lab of theirs. They have the capital (like a lot of capital) and the resources to have their cake and eat it too.
They would silence many “haters” that blame Apple for not being innovative in the smartphone industry while also appealing to weird phone enthusiasts that can’t resist cool tech — they just have to be willing to take a risk.
Do you want Apple to get in the weird phone business?
What do you think? Would you love to see Apple make some cool and weird phones in the future? Let us know in the comments down below.
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iMore’s resident gaming guru. Loves playing games from all eras, and still has a working Atari 2600 in his basement. When he isn’t writing about games, you’ll probably find him slapping the bass to his favourite 80s tunes.