LG Electronics threw in the towel on manufacturing smartphones earlier this year. Now, according to a new report, it’s considering stocking Apple products in its 400 LG Best Shops stores in South Korea.
The companies supposedly are negotiating for an Apple store-within-a-store setup that will sell iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. This sounds similar to when Apple set up mini-stores inside CompUSA outlets around the United States in the late 1990s. As with the CompUSA mini-stores, the new LG outlets might be staffed by Apple employees.
Business Korea described the ongoing negotiations:
“The two sides have yet to decide when the partnership starts, but some market experts predict that it will be some time after the end of July when LG Electronics completely pull out of the smartphone business. However, both sides are reportedly divided over the sale of Apple notebooks and desktops at LG Best Shops. While Apple wants to make its MacBook Laptops available at Best Shops, LG Electronics is refusing [to] accept Apple’s request as it sells its own laptop, Gram.”
As a result, the LG stores likely won’t stock Macs. They also won’t provide any repair or maintenance services for Macs. But, as an LG official noted, “Nothing has been decided yet. We are exploring all possibilities.”
LG and Apple partnership?
LG started selling its own phones around a decade ago with the likes of the G2, which proved popular. But despite pushing the envelope and innovating, LG failed to make much of a dent over the long run. In April, the company announced it would no longer make its own phones.
LG getting out of a market and then winding up selling rivals’ products sounds like a pretty decisive victory for Apple. But, ultimately, it could be a win-win for all involved. Apple currently operates two stores in South Korea. Getting these mini-stores in 400 more retail outlets, potentially staffed by Apple employees, could give Cupertino a needed boost in the country.
Source: Business Korea