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.

Source: LG Press Release

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  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    Sad to see them go, the likes of the LG G2, the LG V10, and the nexus 5 were all good phones. LG tarnished their reputation hard with quality control issues, refused to embrace the mid range market when it was ablaze, and sectioned off their phones by carrier when everyone else was doing unlocked phones. I honestly thought HTC would drop out before LG.

    RIP LG phones.
  • MananDedhia - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    I agree... I did own the G2 and the V20 - still have the V20. Good phone. Oh well, thanks and so long for all the phones.
  • Silver5urfer - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    HTC is dead and irrelevant since U11. They are gone long back. Their last great device was HTC 10 but it had battery issues vs OnePlus3. M7 was solid phone on the other hand, that Laser drilled speaker hole and milled chassis which Apple copied hard for iPhone 6.

    Their CEO, she failed the company when M7 was in prime, that CEO left and she took in reigns later M8 was okay but M9 with SD810 disaster HTC fell harder than a rock. U11 killed the rest of their life on top Google sucked out their division for iPixel 2016 an iPhone 6 ripoff design, even now Pixel is an iPhone wannabe failure.

    Midrange is Motorola dominated mostly, now Samsung is also popular I guess. If anyone wants to stay relevant it's Flagship not midrange.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    Staying relevant via flagship is a fools errand. Motorola doesnt even bother trying to counter the galaxy S series.

    There's plenty of room for both mid range and entry level devices. Mtorola is cheaping out on the G 2021, the moto e still isnt very good, and a decent $400 option like the OG moto z play is still MIA.

    There's also a total lack of good 5" phones. Everything today is a massive candybar.
  • deskjob - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    Yep :( Sigh I still have the HTC M7 and 10 in my drawer. The CEO really sucked. And they didn't know how to market their stuff. Technically HTC isn't dead, officially. I guess as long as they're still breathing, there's always room for miracles...
  • ikjadoon - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    Both the pain and publicity of the boot loop issues feel responsible in some small way.

    That would’ve sealed the deal for me a long time ago.

    How can you be boot looping Android devices? Especially people’s personal devices: instant loss of trust for any reasonable consumer.

    Imagine having an entire Wikipedia page against you brand’s specific engineering failures, while you’re a relatively small player.
  • BigDragon - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    Exactly. I had an LG Nexus 5X that boot looped. I ignored all LG phones when looking for a replacement, and I told family and friends to avoid LG phones. It doesn't matter if LG fixed their quality control issues -- plenty of alternatives to choose from. No point risking another surprise hardware defect in a year or two.
  • grant3 - Friday, April 9, 2021 - link

    "how"? it was a manufacturing defect that didn't become apparent until months or years after production started.

    yes it was a dumb mistake (for a skilled manufacturer), but it's not like LG employees decided the hardware was too stable and tweaked the manufacturing process with the intent of making devices more likely to brick.

    I'd be a lot more critical of, for example, the Pi foundation designing devices that deliberately ignore the USB-C spec, and therefore cannot be powered by smart-chargers
  • ads295 - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    They could have at least made one attempt to make a smartphone that's under 5" in screen diagonal, has an AMOLED display, 4500mAh battery, waterproofing and 3.5mm jack. It would work even if it had a potato for a camera - there are simply no small phones around, even in the mid range!
  • Unashamed_unoriginal_username_x86 - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    Is there some sort of napoleon complex for hands, why do people always insist that tiny phones would be a breakthrough in the market? Especially with disproportionate batteries that would make a phone chunky and unpopular

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