LG is getting out of the “very competitive” business of making smartphones.
On Monday, South Korea’s tech giant announced that it would shut down its mobile phone unit after years of loss, marking the end of the pioneering era in the Android world.
According to LG Electronics, the division will be disbanded by July 31, but it is possible that some of its existing models will continue to be sold thereafter.
“The strategic decision to withdraw from the highly competitive mobile sector will allow the company to focus its resources on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and inter-company solutions. It will be, “the company said. In the statement.
According to research firm Strategy Analytics, LG was once one of the world’s top smartphone makers, even in the top three in 2013.
However, the popularity of its devices is declining, especially as Chinese startups such as Xiaomi and Oppo are booming around the world. According to counterpoint research, according to market research firm Canalys, LG was among the top seven companies in the world as of last year, despite being the third most popular smartphone vendor in the United States after Apple and Samsung. did not.
“LG has left a” small gap “in its global market share of less than 2%,” Neil Shah, Partner and Vice President of Research at Counterpoint Research, told CNN Business.
He predicted that the space would likely be filled by Samsung and some small players in both South Korea and the United States.
LG has already warned of the fate of its telco business in January and said it is considering all options, including the possibility of selling the unit.
The decision to stop it on Monday came across a nostalgia on social media where users shared a photo of their first LG phone and reminded them of the company’s willingness to innovate.
“Pour one into LG Mobile. That’s why we have [ultrawide cameras] Technical reviewer and video producer Marques Brownlee wrote on Twitter. (LG’s V40 phone is widely known for introducing this feature to smartphones.)
“They didn’t always ace all the phones, but losing them means losing competitors trying new things, even if they don’t work.” Brownley added.
“LG was never perfect, but in the boring slab world, it offered some of the most unique phone designs, ideas and features to date,” said Austin Evans, a tech video blogger. I will.
LG was known to push the boundaries with smartphones. In 2013, the curved smartphone screen appeared, making it one of the first electronics manufacturers to debut technology for the mass market at the time.
Two years later, the company surprised experts with the LG G4’s high-end photography capabilities. “Maybe it’s the best smartphone camera on the planet,” said David Goldman, a former technical editor at CNN Business.
And last year, LG announced the WING 5G, a 5G-enabled smartphone with two screens. You can rotate one of the screens up to 90 degrees to make it easier for users to switch between different apps at the same time for multitasking.
The company’s last big splash came just three months ago when it revealed a phone that could be rolled up and turned into a tablet.
LG said at the time that the device would be available later this year, but the company confirmed to CNN Business on Monday that it is no longer available.
“For many years [the] LG smartphones were known for their unconventional and innovative features, “Canalys research analyst Shengtao Jin told CNN Business. “These features helped LG differentiate from other mainstream brands, but most consumers didn’t find much practical value in these features.”
However, the company will not completely collapse from the industry. “LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise to develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G,” he said in a statement.
“The core technology developed over the 20 years of LG’s mobile business will also be retained and applied to existing and future products.”
Experts believe that this decision may help the company in the future. LG will enjoy a better growth outlook overall if it abolishes the mobile business, Shah said, “removing thorns” from the company’s “feet.”
“It would be wise for LG to reduce losses and bet on favorable areas such as the display business,” Jin added.
LG Electronics’ share price fell 2.5% in South Korea on Monday following the news.
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