Having appointed a new CEO at the end of last year, LG is keen to signal a better direction for its mobile business and has today opened the doors to a new Software Upgrade Center. This facility is part of LG’s new research and development center in western Seoul, and it’s set up with the express goal of speeding up Android software updates for LG phone owners around the world. As new CEO Jo Seong-jin says in a statement accompanying the news, “Stable and consistent upgrades will demonstrate to our customers that LG smartphones have long and reliable lifespans.”
Many people will be wondering why it took LG nearly a decade of making Android phones before it realized the importance of updating those devices in a reliable and timely manner. The first task of the Software Upgrade team will be delivering Android Oreo as an update to last year’s flagship LG G6 later this month — a number of weeks later than more proactive Android rivals updated their own flagship phones.
The period of adjustment surrounding LG’s leadership change might well have contributed to the later-than-usual release of its upcoming G7 ThinQ smartphone. The company’s press release certainly hints at the new CEO pushing for the establishment of the Software Upgrade Center being announced today, which is accompanied by an unspecific promise of “investing significant resources toward extending smartphone lifespan.” If there’s substance behind the new boss’ rhetoric, the G7 and other future phones from LG could be taken a little more seriously as competitors to Apple and Samsung’s dominant devices. But only time and genuine change can build the trust that LG currently lacks.