Who Makes LG Phones?

By Justice West

LG cell phones, the third best selling brand of phones in the world, are manufactured by LG Electronics, a subsidiary of the Korean mega-conglomerate LG group. LG cell phones are known for their small size and contemporary design. In 2005, the LG Group's total sales exceeded $38.6 billion.

The Facts

LG Electronics is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and is the second largest South Korean electronics manufacturer after Samsung. Aside from its Mobile Communications division, where LG cell phones are designed and manufactured, LG Electronics has three more divisions--Digital Appliance, Digital Display and Digital Media. LG Electronics' parent company, LG Group, is one of the world's largest conglomerates and also has divisions for the manufacture of chemicals.

History

LG Group is the product of a merger between two Korean companies. "Lucky" and "GoldStar" merged in 1958 and the new company was named "LG." Before the advent of cell phones, LG produced electronics and home appliances such as radios, TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.

Controversy

LG Electronics became embroiled in a controversy when it was discovered that some of the energy-saving promises of its appliances were misleading. In 2006, an Australian regulatory agency announced that five models of LG air conditioners did not actually provide the energy savings touted by the company. Then, in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy removed Energy Star approved labels from some LG refrigerators--and some Kenmore refrigerators manufactured by LG--after discovering that they did not meet Energy Star requirements due to faulty testing.

Warnings

LG voluntarily recalled its LG 830 "Spyder" cell phone model in February 2009 due to a network error that caused it to drop calls, including calls to emergency services. These models were sold only in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Washington state. Any purchaser who turned in a phone was given a free software upgrade.

Misconceptions

Due to a recent marketing campaign, some consumers have come under the impression that LG stands for "Life's Good." This is an example of a phenomenon called a "backronym" where a new meaning is coined from an existing set of initials. The "backronym" is so named because it is the opposite of an acronym, where a set of initials are used to reference a phrase.

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