What happens locally now that LG is exiting the mobile business?

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At the start of the week we found that LG was indeed closing down its mobile business. The news came after reports earlier in the year that the South Korean company would be focusing its efforts elsewhere, which makes since given the fact that it has lost ground in the mobile market to several aggressive competitors out of China.

“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,” explained an official announcement issued yesterday.

“The wind down of the mobile phone business is expected to be completed by July 31 although inventory of some existing models may still be available after that,” it adds.

While we understand LG’s decision to bow out of mobile, it is eye opening to see when of the top consumer electronics brands in the world being forced to call it a day in a market is has been a part of for several decades.

The big question now is, what does this mean for current LG phone owners. To gain a bit more insight we reached out to LG Mobile South Africa’s local representatives to understand what will happen after the aforementioned 31st July timeframe.

Perhaps most important is what will happen to after sales service, such as repairing and returning of mobile devices. On that front, LG says it will adhere to its commitments, although a more definitive explanation of what those will entail is unknown for now. “We will honor all contractual obligations to our business partners, where applicable,” an LG spokesperson told Hypertext.

“The process of winding down the business starts today but it will take some time due to obligations we have to customers and partners,” they added when asked about the sale of any current mobile stock or inventory after 31st July.

As for the other mobile-related side of the business, such as wireless earphones and other peripherals, nothing appears to be changing on that front.

“This release is only relevant to mobile devices,” they explained. This likely means we’ll still see more IoT-specific devices and accessories come out of LG moving forward.

Looking at the mobile ecosystem that powers LG devices, which is of course Android, a FAQ page for LG in the US says it will receive updates into the near future, although precisely how long that will be is unclear. The Korean LG site also notes that Android 12 will be coming to newer devices.

Hopefully then, LG smartphone owners will still have peace of mind that their devices will continue to receive software and security updates over the next couple of years before they transition to a different brand.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.