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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  • Silver5urfer - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    US Carrier Mafia, they blocked it hard. Tmobile V30 was locked very bad with it's RSA signatures vs the other V30 phones, V40 had an exploit, G8 had another same and even V50 too, V60 I don't know. They had undergone so many changes in the mobile heads who control, in that they stopped unlocking US phones bootloaders, a big shame.

    Sadly now all those devices are lost in time. Fantastic HW ruined by this bullshit locks.
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    Unlocked hardware is slightly more difficult to run all the spyware vectors on.

    Of course, what people actually need is completely transparent (completely open source) hardware, software, and networks.
  • hescominsoon - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    The biggest problem was their nearly non-existant updates. Tying themselves to the carriers didn't help either. The writing had been on the wall for a very long time unfortunately.
  • RaistlinZ - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    I'm still rocking my LG V30. Great device. My previous phone was a Nexus 5. Guess I'll use my V30 until it bites the dust then sell my soul to Samsung. ::sigh::
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, April 5, 2021 - link

    End of an era, indeed!

    Our very first Android device was an LG Eve running Android 1.5 that my wife picked up way back when. We updated that to 1.6, then ran a bunch of custom ROMs to get 2.0 and even 2.1 running on it. The hardware keyboard was a godsend!

    I got an Optimus G which died an early death and was replaced under warranty with a G2. That was one of my favourite phones, especially running custom ROMs (tried about a dozen different ones over the years). That phone lasted for at least 3 years, if not 4, before the OLED screen developed a dead space across the whole width.

    Picked up a used V20, mainly for the removable battery. Replaced the screen once, and it's all cracked up again, but the phone continues to run. Our youngest uses it for gaming nowadays. There hasn't been any updates to it for a long time. :(

    That was always the downfall to great LG hardware: piss-poor software support. Not really surprised they're folding, but will be sad to see them go.
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    I had a couple LG phones. They were pretty much like everyone else's. Nothing really special. They should have stayed with stock Android.
    What I liked was the fact that they were heavily discounted because nobody wanted them. I got brand new G6s for about $60.
  • vortmax2 - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    Less competition is usually a bad thing, so I'm sad to see them bow out.
  • peevee - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    Another one ultimately doomed by the Intel's 10nm...

    What a dumpster fire.
  • airdrifting - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - link

    About time. Everything after G2 has been a failure.
  • JustAnotherPCEnthusiast - Thursday, April 8, 2021 - link

    LG actually made pretty good phones, I think the core problem is that they failed to provide a compelling reason to get their phones over the competition.

    On the one hand, they did try to put some interesting enthusiast features on their phones to differentiate and attract the enthusiast crowd, but had absolutely terrible bootloader unlocking support (in the US at least) and often some other critical design oversight which pretty much killed that niche. I've tried several LG phones over the last few years and ended up returning them because of how confusing it was to know if a particular model supported bootloader unlocking or not.

    On the other hand, a lot of their phones were generic clones of whatever the current market trends were. They were good phones, but not the best, and generally priced too high, and were eaten from both sides by truly high end phones on the top end and flagship killers on the bottom.

    It's sad to see them go, but based on my experience with their phones in the past I'm actually surprised they've stayed in the market this long trying the same failing strategy over and over.

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