Following rumors, the LG today confirmed that it is shutting its mobile division down amid mounting losses. The company had been known for its “quirky” and unusual designs that were produced as the company tried to differentiate its devices.
The company stated that its decision to exit is based on the competitive smartphone market where LG was simply unable to care out a successful niche. Engadget reports that LG’s mobile division has not made a profit for six consecutive years.
“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,” the company writes.
For those who currently own an LG smartphone, the company promises that it will continue to provide service and support for them, but for how long was not specified and will vary by region.
“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 writes. “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.”
LG’s latest smartphones have failed to grab the attention of average consumers who instead have been flocking to market leaders like Apple and Samsung, and Chinese brands such as Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
The most recent attempt to grab the attention of buyers was the LG Wing, a highly unusual smartphone design that mixed the concepts of a flip phone and a folding phone. Sporting two screens, the LG Wing would “flip” out and form a T-shape where content could be viewed in widescreen above a normal portrait-oriented lower half screen. The design had its merits but clearly was not enough for the company to rationalize spending any further money and time on mobile.
LG says that the wind-down of its mobile phone business is expected to happen very quickly: by July 31 of 2021. The company does stipulate that while it will close its operations in that division by then, inventory of existing models may still be available after that.