SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Ryu Hyun-soo has described himself as an “LG phone maniac” and says he will not give up even if his LG smartphone maker leaves the business.
LG Electronics Inc. said it would close its smartphone division by the end of July this month.
Ryu, 53, who has collected nearly 90 devices in 23 years, said he started using them because he liked the design and creative functionality of LG phones, but the audio quality made him fall in love.
“I went on LG phones because of the audio,” he said.
At his home in Anyang, south of Seoul, there is a room dedicated to Ryu devices and accessories and tools to fix them.
LG, which has been developing mobile phones for a quarter of a century, eventually fell behind rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., in part due to sluggish marketing and slow software updates.
Its smartphone division recorded nearly six-year losses, totaling $ 4.5 billion by the end of 2020.
“I think they (with Samsung) are rushing to catch up, sacrificing quality … (and) to cover up the problem, the company is focusing more on design and other functions,” he said, leading to recurring problems.
He was confident in his plan to use LG phones “forever” as they can be purchased online forever.
“Replacing parts is easy if you practice a little. I don’t know when the parts will be in stock, but I will continue to use LG phones until the parts are still delivered,” he said.
Still, he was nostalgic about stopping the business.
“A Samsung phone is like a smart friend, an Apple phone is like a girlfriend to me. Then an LG phone is like a friend. I shared the ups and downs of life together. It’s sad to see a friend leave. It’s so sad,” Ryu said.
(Reported by Daewong Kim and Heijang Jung; Written by Tom Hoke; Editing Kills Elkot)