Bottom line: Some of the challenges that LG and Sony face, like increased competition from cheaper Chinese brands, aren't unique to them. Innovation could likely solve the issues that both are experiencing but in a fatigued industry, that's easier said than done.

LG and Sony, once two of the most popular smartphone makers in the world, continue to struggle with their mobile divisions as evident by their most recent earnings reports.

LG's mobile communications division posted second quarter sales of $1.38 billion, an increase of 6.8 percent versus the previous quarter but a dip of 21.3 percent compared to the year-ago period. LG blamed stagnant demand in the smartphone market and continued aggressive pricing by Chinese brands as factors contributing to its lackluster results.

Sony's electronics products & solutions group, which the mobile division now resides in, saw sales dip by around $776 million, or 15 percent, compared to the same period a year earlier. Sony said it experienced a decrease in unit sales of televisions, smartphones and digital cameras and was also negatively impacted by foreign exchange rates.

Seemingly undeterred, both companies continue to put out new phones at regular intervals and could benefit from the arrival of 5G. Sony is even reportedly working on a rollable smartphone that could launch later this year.