LG isn’t shutting down its smartphone business: Spokesperson
LG’s mobile business hasn’t turned a profit for a couple of years now, despite several attempts from the company to restructure its approach and bring innovative products to the market. Its devices just don’t get any love from the masses unless they’re available at massive discounts, which is reason enough for the company to shut shop and focus on other more profitable ventures. However, LG’s CEO, Kwon Bong-Seok, thinks otherwise. Last year, Kwon released a statement predicting that LG’s smartphone business “is going to be profitable by 2021”. But a recent report from The Elec claimed that LG may have finally given up now. However, a spokesperson for LG firmly denies the report.
According to the now-deleted report, LG recently notified all South Korean employees that it was shutting down its smartphone business, and it would make an official announcement by the end of this month. It further added that LG had also instructed employees to stop all developments, except for Project I, earlier this week. For the unaware, Project I is the code-name for LG’s upcoming rollable smartphone, which was recently showcased at CES. The device was initially code-named Project B, but LG seems to have changed it to Project I sometime in the last few weeks. While the report claimed that LG hasn’t shelved the rollable smartphone, it mentioned that the company did suspend all work on the device on the day the notice went out.
We reached out to LG for a comment on the matter, and we received the following statement from Ken Hong, Head of Global Corporate Communications, LG Electronics: “Definitely untrue, more speculation and rumors.” As far as the rollable phone is concerned, Hong recently released a statement confirming that it was a real product that “will be launching this year.”
Although LG has officially dismissed the report, it’s worth noting that the company has suspended smartphone production in South Korea in the past. A report from last year also suggested that the company was planning to outsource production of some of its budget and mid-range devices to Chinese ODMs to cut costs and focus all efforts on upcoming flagships. However, there haven’t been any indications or confirmation to suggest that the company was planning to halt all development of new smartphones.