It has finally happened. After months of refuting the rumors, LG, as also rumored, has announced what many have already expected to be inevitable. On Monday morning in South Korea, the company has made what may be the painful announcement that it’s closing its mobile phone business. While it promises to continue some measure of support for its existing products, it will eventually be shifting its focus to more profitable growth areas like EV components, smart home appliances, and B2B solutions.
Although it wasn’t able to reach the same level of acclaim as its long-time rival Samsung, LG became an important name in the smartphone world. For a time, it was one of Google’s best friends, having made three Nexus phones, an honor no other Android OEM could really claim. It is also one of the manufacturers behind Google’s Pixel phones, a role it shares with another struggling phone maker, HTC.
Unfortunately, LG’s mobile business has been struggling for years and, save for a few brief periods, it never fully recovered. LG’s board has finally approved the decision to completely shut down that ailing business. As rumors already hinted, this means that neither the LG Rainbow nor the world’s first commercial rollable phone, the LG Rollable, would ever see the light of day.
LG’s mobile business is expected to be completely wound down by July 31 but it will curiously still continue selling some of its existing models. It does promise that it will continue to provide support and software updates to existing products but that varies by market. Some also doubt whether LG will even be able to keep that promise considering its track record even when its mobile business was still operating.
It is definitely a sad day for the industry as one of the bigger smartphone makers bows out of the race. It remains to be seen, however, if LG’s brand will continue to live on in phones that others will make, just like what Nokia and BlackBerry currently do.