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LG is exiting the smartphone business for real

LG is exiting the smartphone business for real


Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

It happened. LG just announced that it’s closing its mobile business unit worldwide. And so ends the glorious era of unique phones from the Korean maverick.

The company’s decision was approved by the board this morning. The Korean tech firm said that it wants to concentrate on other verticals such as EV parts, IoT, and AI:

LG’s strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will enable the company 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.

LG assured that it’ll provide repairs and software support for existing phone owners. However, the validity of this support may vary from region to region.

While the firm made some interesting phones, its business has been a lossmaker for 23 straight quarters. According to a report by Korea Times, losses in this time period amount to 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion).

Rumors of LG moving away from the phone market have been around for a while. In January, the Korean media reported that the company wanted to sell the smartphone division to VinGroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate. However, that deal seemingly fell through.

LG was one of the earliest adopters of Android with its first device, the LG Eve, launching in 2009. Over the years, it turned many heads with its G and V series of phones, but wasn’t able to sell many devices to stay profitable.

Credit: LG
LG V40

Two other early proponents of Android, HTC and Sony, are releasing fewer models every year, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they announce departure from making smartphones as well.

So long, LG.

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