Is LG bowing out of the mobile business?

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This afternoon we came across some rather concerning reports with regard to LG, with the South Korean firm seemingly mulling over its current stake in the global mobile market. This as the company has lost an estimated $4.5 billion over the past five years, along with losing ground on other smartphone makers in that time.

The report, which comes from The Korea Herald, claims that LG CEO Kwon Bong-seok has sent out an internal memo to employees at the company regarding plans for the mobile division in 2021.

“Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” explains a statement given to the Korean publication.

“The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business,” it adds.

Along with the report, The Verge also received comment from an LG spokesperson noting that, “LG Electronics management is committed to making whatever decision is necessary to resolve its mobile business challenges in 2021.”

“As of today, nothing has been finalized,” it concluded, which leaves the decision still somewhat in the year.

We have not heard any local rumblings at the time of writing, with LG devices such as the dual screen-swiveling Wing (pictured in header) on sale in South Africa currently.

Added to our skepticism is the fact that LG recently showcased its rollable OLED display technology designed for smaller form factor devices like smartphones, adding that a fully fledged ready-for-market device is expected later this year. If that were the case, why shut down its mobile division?

As such it remains to be seen if the company will simply look to streamline its efforts, like other competitors have done in the wake of dominance from Chinese smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung.

Should such a decision be reached, we’ll be reaching out to LG Mobile South Africa as to what this means for current owners of devices moving forward, particularly as it pertains to servicing or repairs to phones.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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