Is LG's Curved Smartphone Still Too Expensive?

LG Display, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile U.S., Apple

Source: LG Display.

When LG  (NYSE: LPL  )  originally announced it had struck a deal to bring its curved G Flex smartphone to the U.S. through AT&T  (NYSE: T  ) , Sprint  (NYSE: S  ) , and T-Mobile U.S.  (NYSE: TMUS  ) , it remained unclear whether cost would be an obstacle to mass adoption.

After all, as the Fool's Steve Symington pointed out at the time, the G Flex was already selling for $900 overseas, so it appeared unlikely that U.S. mobile carrier subsidies would be able to put a meaningful dent in the already steep price.

As it turns out, all three carriers have officially assigned sub-$700 retail prices to LG's innovative smartphone, and both Sprint and AT&T are offering the G Flex at $299 with a two-year contract. And while "uncarrier" T-Mobile is asking customers to make two years of monthly payments to cover the full price, it's at least throwing in six free month's of Netflix to sweeten the deal.

But while the G Flex's lower-than-expected price will certainly make consumers think harder about taking the plunge, Steve asserts in the video below it still won't be enough to put a big dent in the smartphone empires of LG's competitors.

What do you think? Is the G Flex still too expensive? Check out the video to get Steve's full take, then let us know in the comments section below.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2014, at 1:47 PM, mikaantero wrote:

    The ticker for LG is actually not LPL which is LG Display Co., a producer of display panels. The correct ticker for preferred shares of LG electronics, the producer of G Flex, is LGEIU.PK, LGLD.L (London) or LGLG.F (Frankfurt) and 066575.ks in Söul. The other shares with more voting right trade as 066570.ks.

    I prefer the preferred shares as they are 61% cheaper than the voting shares, but have at least similar rights to equity and dividend than the voting shares.

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2014, at 2:26 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    Ok, someone smarter than me, please tell me what the benefits of a curved display in a cell phone (or, heck, even in a TV) are? Sure seems like a gimmick to me.

    The head of Samsung North America was asked this question by a tech reporter when he was showing off a 100" flexible display at CES. The guy hemmed and hawed and eventually trotted out the line about it being a more "immersive" experience. He got lucky that - inline with today's shallow reporting - the journalist didn't follow up with "how so?" I can certainly see you getting a more immersive experience if you're sitting a foot or two from the screen, but who does that? I would think that most folks who buy a 100" TV sit at least 12 from that screen! In which case the curvature loses this "immersiveness" completely.

    On a smartphone, obviously you're not gonna get "immersed" no matter how much the phone curves. So the only case for a curved phone is that it might make it a little easier to reach the top of screen with your thumb in one-handed operation (the larger the phablet, the more of a benefit, I guess). But the downside is that the bottom of the phone is now harder to access AND the darn thing will start producing a pretty good-sized bulge in your pants when you carry it around!

    So someone help me out - am I missing something here?

    The only use case I can see for a curved screen is on a wrist-watch - if you want a larger display (read smart watch), you need a curved display in order to not look like a complete dork.

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2014, at 2:26 PM, ranchrfl wrote:

    It's still Android and, for Apple users, especially those of us with Mac's, iPhones and iPads that is the issue. If my ecosystem ain't broke why mess with it?

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2014, at 1:39 PM, johnnyfrankie wrote:

    The way I see it: apple boyz/galz are upset because as we all know too darned well! If apple had invented/'innovated' (lmao) this 'curved phone' idea, they would be hemming and hawing and singing it's praises. Whatever. Predictable like my bowel movement every day around 6-630.

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2014, at 1:41 PM, johnnyfrankie wrote:

    And one particularly decent advantage I see with a curved phone is NOT having to put a square/flat/piece of plastic or metal from my non square head. But, hey, that's just common sense and well, that's not all too popular these dark days!

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