LG believes its smartphones will finally be profitable by end of 2021

HTC may have had a terrible 2019 but it isn't the only major manufacturer whose mobile profits have been tanking year after year. It is joined by Sony, who seems less interested in actually making a serious effort, and LG, who is oddly quite upbeat about its chances. So upbeat that CEO Kwon Bong-seok told reporters that the company's smartphone business will turn a profit but not before 2021 ends.

Of course, it's not unusual for LG's top brass to have a positive outlook on the company's smartphone business, at least in public. It seems that only HTC is not too uncomfortable admitting its shortcomings. In 2016, then chairwoman Cher Wang bowed to shareholders in apology and, more recently, new CEO Yves Maitre admitted that the company stopped innovating on the mobile front.

LG's CEO, on the other hand, practically brushed off questions and concerns about the future of its phones. There was also no talk about any strategy aside from releasing even more phones. At one point in time, LG launched just as many phones as Samsung but has recently cut back what are practically superfluous and redundant models. Kwon implies it might return to that strategy yet again.

The company revealed disappointing numbers for the last quarter of 2019, far lower than the already generous estimates from market analysts. Few doubt that LG's ailing smartphone business was largely to blame, despite the cost-cutting measures that saw LG move its smartphone production to Vietnam.

That said, LG has a lot more businesses to bank on compared to HTC. Kwon is also pretty optimistic about its chances in the automotive industry. As for 8K TVs, it might have announced a number of them at CES 2020 but, unlike long-time rival Samsung, believes the time isn't ripe for them just yet.