In a press release today, LG Electronics announced that they will be stepping away and closing down their mobile phone business division after approval from its board of directors. To wit, the Korean brand will
The press release further stated that LG’s strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will allow the brand to “focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.”
The smallest of its 5 divisions, the LG’smartphone division accounts for 7% of the Korean giant’s revenue but has seen better days. Once a titan in the smartphone industry, LG’s influence has waned over the years with their mobile phone division taking on some US$4.5 billion in losses over the last six years.
LG has sought to spin off their mobile phone division to another buyer for some time but have had no takers thus far, forcing them to close what was once one of its most innovative divisions.
LG smartphones were at their zenith in 2013 as the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple, a position that’s now dominated by a host of brands from China such fiercely vying for market share like Xiaomi and Oppo.
Today, LG commands just 2% of global market share and shipped only 23 million phones; a modest amount compared to the 256 million phones shipped by Samsung.
Back in the day, LG innovated with a host of unique phones like the Optimus 3D back in 2011 which was able to take, view and share 3D videos along with 3D applications. It also saw a slew of memorably named midrange phones like the Ice Cream and Chocolate phones.
Recently, they released the quaintly designed LG Wing which had a flippable display that rotated to view landscape style content. At CES 2021, they also teased a rollable phone too.
What next for LG smartphones?
At present, LG’s current phone inventory will still be available for sale and existing owners will still enjoy service support and software updates based on region though the wind up will proceed as planned with a slated completion date of July 31st 2021.