12 April 2021
The inevitable has happened. LG has officially confirmed that it has decided to shut down its smartphone business. The announcement was made through an official blog post. The company will not be producing or releasing any new smartphones moving forward and only the existing stock will be available for purchase.
The post describes the move as a strategic decision to cut the company's losses and invest money in other ventures. LG used to have a strong position in the market but for the last few years, it has been suffering huge losses each quarter. It registered a loss of $751 million last year. This is the reason such a move was anticipated for a long time and does not come as a surprise.
It was in January 2021 when we first started to hear whispers of LG considering ending its smartphone division. There were even talks of the company selling the business but as things have turned out, it seems like a final deal could not be reached with any of the potential buyers. LG expects the shutdown process to get completed by July 31st but has not talked about what would happen with the employees working in the division.
All existing LG smartphone customers will continue to receive service support and software updates for a "period of time which will vary by region". It will now be shifting its focus on other options like electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence, and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services. It also has plans to keep working on mobile-related technologies like the development of 6G.
LG will always be remembered as an OEM that was never afraid of doing things beyond the traditional approach. It was the first brand to offer a wide-angle camera on a smartphone that has become a norm in modern times. It experimented with modular smartphone concept with the LG G5 and most recently, it released a dual-screen smartphone named LG Wing. It even showcased a rollable display phone called LG Rollable at CES 2020 which was supposed to release this year. But after the latest announcement, it seems very unlikely that we will ever get to see the phone become available commercially.