Reports of LG winding down its smartphone division have been popping up for a few months now, and earlier this year, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that it was exploring all options in regards to its mobile division. While LG tried to sell the failing business to other companies, it seems that things haven't gone well, and The Korea Times reports (via Android Authority) that LG is dropping out of the smartphone business entirely.
According to the report, LG has been negotiating a potential sale with a number of potential buyers, including Vietnam-based Vingroup, but failed to go through with a sale to any of them. The company also tried selling only parts of its business, but nothing worked out, and ultimately the only solution was to dissolve the business altogether.
The fate of LG's mobile division is really no surprise. For years, the company has been losing money on its phones every single quarter, even when its other divisions see significant growth. The smartphone market has grown increasingly competitive over the years, with a large number of brands entering the ring, including many focused on making more affordable products that LG failed to keep up with.
In 2020, there was already a noticeable shift in LG's strategy as it tried to turn the situation around. Instead of focusing on high-end flagships, LG turned to more affordable phones with premium designs like the LG Velvet, or all-new form factors like the LG Wing. The shift wasn't enough, however, and it kept posting losses through the end of 2020.
LG has refused to comment on the possibility of a shutdown, saying that all possibilities are still open. However, sources claim that an announcement will be coming on April 5 at the company's board meeting.
A likely casualty of this move is the LG rollable phone that was shown off at this year's CES. Shortly after it was shown off, LG said it was planning to release the phone within the year, but with its phone business hanging in the balance, it's reasonable to expect that it won't be happening anymore.