LG Calls it Quits, To Close Mobile Phone Business

This morning, LG issued a press release that announced the board of directors had decided to close down the conglomerate’s mobile phone business. The news is unfortunate, however isn’t too surprising given the mobile division had been accruing continuous operational losses over the last 6 years, greatly denting the company’s financials.

SEOUL, April 5, 2021 — LG Electronics Inc. (LG) announced that it is closing its mobile business unit. The decision was approved by its board of directors earlier today.

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 will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region. LG will work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners throughout the closure of the mobile phone business. Details related to employment will be determined at the local level.

Moving forward, LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to help further strengthen competitiveness in other business areas. Core technologies developed during the two decades of LG’s mobile business operations will also be retained and applied to existing and future products.

LG had been one of the major mobile pioneers in the feature phone market, and also a larger player in the early 2010’s with many notable earlier successes such as the LG G2 or the G3.

Unfortunately in the following years, the company had been struck hard by chains of hardware disadvantages, ranging from the Snapdragon 810/808 generation in the G4, a failed attempt at hardware modularity in the G5. LG had also suffered issues over several generations in their OLED display attempts, plagued by lower quality panels with image quality issues, or power efficiency deficits compared to other alternatives in the market who used Samsung Display OLED panels.

At one point, LG had plans to deploy their own in-house design “Nuclun” SoCs into their mobile devices, announcing their partnership with Intel Custom Foundry to produce a leading-edge design on Intel’s 10nm process node. Unfortunately, the project burned to the ground along with Intel’s 10nm struggles, with the chips never seeing the light of day.

LG’s latest device attempts in the form of the V60 and the VELVET were actually greater leaps for the company’s designs as well as executions, however all coming too late, with a continuing problem of availability of the devices, as LG still ran with an availability model of working closely with carriers and releasing devices only in markets where carriers decided they were interested in supporting that device.

The company will be winding down its mobile business through July 31st, refocusing its resources into other divisions of the conglomerate.