The reports from his native Korea were correct, LG is closing its cell phone business. With losses soaring and billions of dollars seemingly wasted on quirky cell phones, the electronics giant has officially thrown in the towel of its struggling phone division. In a statement, the company said: “In the future, LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to further strengthen competitiveness in other business areas.”
Currently, LG announced that current phone inventory will continue to be available for sale and that existing devices will continue to receive after-sale support and software updates “for a period that will vary by region”. The company expects its wireless business to be completed by the end of July. However, it notes that some LG phones may still be sold after this date.
Despite the CEO’s promise to change his fortune by 2021, both LG’s Velvet and Wing devices failed to resonate with the public. The lure of dual-screen phones (and the promise of rollable displays) was clearly not enough to persuade consumers to part with dominant players Apple and Samsung. While the litany of affordable flagships like OnePlus and Xiaomi continued to lose the remaining market share.
In December, the writing for the Korean electronics giant was on the wall. With a share of only 1.7 percent in the global telephone market, LG announced that it will outsource the design of further cell phones with low and medium range to third parties. Just a few months earlier, it had tried to crack the cheap 5G phone arena with the $ 400 K92.
“The LG brand’s move away from mobile may be disappointing for some, but we are in an industry where turning and doing what is in the best interests of employees and shareholders is also critical,” Ken Hong, Ken’s director of global corporate communications, told Engadget. “As other popular phone brands have shown before us, this is a numbers game, not a popularity contest.”
Obviously, LG was not ready to give up its smartphone ambitions without a fight. Last month, the Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo reported that there were even talks to sell the threshing business to German Volkswagen AG and Vietnamese Vingroup JSC, but the discussions ultimately failed. According to Nikkei Asia, LG’s inability to grow its smartphone business has been at least partially impacted by a global semiconductor memory – unlike its domestic rival Samsung, LG doesn’t make its own smartphone chipsets, and the limited supply has led the company to There were problems ensuring a sufficient silicon supply for future mobile devices.
The full statement from LG can be found below:
“LG Electronics Inc. (LG) announced that it is closing its mobile business unit. The decision was approved by its board of directors today.
LG’s strategic decision to leave the incredibly competitive cellular sector allows the company to focus resources on 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 current LG phone inventory will continue to be offered for sale. LG will provide service support and software updates to customers for existing mobile products for a period that will vary by region. LG will work with suppliers and business partners during the shutdown of the cellular business. Employment details are determined at the local level.
In the future, LG will continue to use its mobile know-how and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G in order to further strengthen its competitiveness in other business areas. Core technologies developed over the two decades of LG’s mobile business operations are retained and applied to existing and future products.
The liquidation business is expected to be completed by July 31, although inventory of some existing models may still be available after that. “
Chris Velazco and Richard Lawler contributed to this story.