Can Google VR Help The LG V30 Compete With The Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X?

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Reports have emerged that LG’s upcoming flagship, the LG V30 may come bundled with an, as yet unannounced, Google Daydream VR headset. The new Daydream headset is likely the second-generation refresh of the original Google Daydream View, which launched last year. LG announced the LG V30 almost a month ago. However, at the time, consumer excitement was somewhat muted due to the impending launches of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X. Despite losing out to the competition earlier this year, LG is very clearly looking to shake up the status quo with the new V30.

The LG V30 announcement was fairly well received critically, even though it remained in the shadow of its big brothers over at Samsung and Apple. With their new flagship, LG is looking to offer everything that the competition does and more. It sports all the standout features of a typical 2017 flagship, including a glass and metal sandwich design, near bezel-less QHD display with a tall aspect ratio, IP68 water resistance, dual camera, USB Type – C and more. However, it seems like LG wants to differentiate their offering from the pack by placing a special emphasis on VR.

The V30 is the first LG phone that features support for Google’s ambitious Daydream mobile VR platform. According to several reports, LG will bundle the next generation Google Daydream View headset with its flagship. The headset itself will reportedly be worth $99 at launch.

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This is an interesting move by LG, whose mobile division has been suffering as of late. Despite universal critical acclaim, and promising initial sales numbers, the LG G6 flopped pretty hard. The launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ was a death blow for the LG G6, and resulted in a net operating loss of $117.27 million in Q2 2017 for LG’s mobile division.

Now LG is looking to have another stab at the lucrative high-end smartphone market, especially in elite markets. LG’s presence in these markets is marginal at best, with a Canalys report pegging LG’s high-end smartphone shipments in 1H 2017 at a mere 3.9 million compared to 31.6 million and 77.8 million for Samsung and Apple respectively. These numbers amply demonstrate LG’s troubles while competing with the big boys.

The decision to bundle in the Daydream View headset with the V30 may be an appealing value proposition for many consumers. This is further enhanced by the fact that the V30, which is rumoured to be priced at $800, maybe over $200 cheaper than its competition. Other than the very enticing value proposition, VR itself is another big draw here. The future of VR is very bright, and the industry is expected to be worth over $40 billion by 2020. The pricing and added focus on VR may just be enough for LG to turn the two-horse race for smartphone dominance into a three-player affair.

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