LG has confirmed through a press release that instead of selling their mobile business to others, they have decided to leave the industry altogether.
This move closes the curtain on two decades of manufacturing and selling phones.
LG started its mobile business in 2000 by acquiring LG Information & Communications.
It was the world's third-largest phone maker in the early and mid-2000s, behind Nokia and Samsung. However, as of today, LG's global market share for smartphones is just 1%. Times have been tough for LG, with its attempts to innovate in mobile getting consistently overshadowed by Samsung, Apple and others. They have been losing money for 5 consecutive years at this point which's nearly 5 billion dollars in the span of these 5 years.
The end of LG's mobile phone business means that the company's rollable phone will be scratched. The company said in a statement that the LG Rollable is no longer part of its product strategy which is a bummer.
In general, because more competition is always good because it brings more variety and better prices usually but also specifically because while I have not bought an LG phone any time recently, I was looking forward quite a bit to their rollable phone as potentially becoming my next one. Not just rollable phone their next proper flagship phone the LG Rainbow has also been canceled.
There are multiple reasons why LG mobile lost its momentum and eventually failed. Lack of marketing probably sits at the very top but I think one of the biggest drawbacks of LG was their lack of an in-house chip supply too. LG's domestic rival Samsung manufactures many key components that go into the phones, such as advanced displays and memory chips and for the past many years they also have a deal with Qualcomm to use their newest flagship chips exclusively for the first few months. LG used to launch their flagship G lineup around the same time as Samsung's S series phones and since Qualcomm and Samsung had a deal, LG had to use an older flagship SoC on their newest G series of phones which over the years has reduced the popularity of their flagships because people preferred buying the latest and greatest one from Samsung. This could have been avoided if they had an in-house chip supply.
Also, LG experimented quite a lot with their design and didn't stick to a signature look. I mean when you look at a Samsung phone or an iPhone, you can instantly tell the brand behind it but that wasn't the case with LG. Instead of improving from generation to generation, LG went back to the drawing board every year to announce something completely different, abandoning the predecessor or the main features it introduced. So a lack of brand identity hurt them big time too.
Anyway, this makes LG the first Major Smartphone Brand to Withdraw From the smartphone Market altogether as brand names like Nokia, Blackberry and more have still stuck around on devices made by third-party manufacturers.