It’s official: LG Electronics is exiting the smartphone business
LG has officially pulled out of the smartphone business. There have been multiple reports in the last two weeks hinting at LG bidding adieu to the smartphone space once and for all, and that has indeed turned out to be the case.
In a public statement, LG confirmed the closure of its mobile division, stating that it will no longer produce and sell new smartphones. The decision was approved by the company’s board of directors on Monday, citing the division’s long slump and stiff competition. Since Q2 2015, LG’s mobile division has been continuously reporting losses. In 2020, the mobile division registered a loss of ~$751 (USD) million.
Earlier reports cited Google, Facebook, Volkwagen, and Vietnam’s Bin Group as potential buyers of LG’s smartphone division. However, talks never reached a conclusion, leaving LG no choice but to withdraw from the market completely. The first reports of the company’s possible departure from the smartphone space surfaced in January. At the time, the company said it was “reviewing the direction of its mobile business with all possibilities open.”
It’s unclear what will happen to the company’s first rollable phone, which has been in the works for a long time. Previously, a spokesperson had said that the company will be launching the phone later this year.
As for current inventory, the company says its existing units will continue to be available for sale and that service and software support will continue for a period of time depending on the region. The winding down of the company’s mobile phone business is expected to be completed by July 31, 2021, but inventory of existing devices may still be available following that date.
LG may not have enjoyed a grand financial success in the smartphone space, but its contribution to the smartphone industry will certainly be not forgotten. LG’s Android journey began in 2009 with the LG GW620, running Android 1.5 Cupcake out-of-the-box, and is seemingly ending with the LG Wing, which was one of the most innovative smartphones of 2020. If there’s one thing that stood out about LG as a company, it’s that they were never afraid to try something different and bold and kept on experimenting with new concepts and form factors.
LG was the first OEM to introduce an ultra-wide-angle camera on a mobile phone (LG G5) and one of the few OEMs that catered to audio enthusiasts with features like Quad DAC and powerful stereo speakers. During its journey, LG also teamed up with Google to produce some of the most iconic smartphones of our time, such as the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 5X. LG also made Google’s Pixel 2 XL.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.