It had been rumored on one occasion or another and, finally, it is official. LG, one of the longest-lived cell phone manufacturers, is closing its smartphone division worldwide. The decision, according to the company, was approved today by its board of directors and will become effective on July 31.
With this move, LG plans to focus its resources on other aspects and growth areas, such as electric vehicle components, robotics and artificial intelligence, among others. And what about users who already have an LG cell phone? In the words of the Korean company:
“LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time that will vary by region.”
The update plans do not change after the shutdown. Each handset has its own update cycle and both old and new handsets will continue to be updated as before. In other words, the closure of the division, in principle, should not affect software support.
In the same way, LG will continue to provide after-sales service and spare parts. In other words, if a user buys an LG Velvet now and in a year’s time needs to replace the screen because it has broken, it will be possible to do so officially.
LG has been launching cell phones since 2002, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the company launched its first smartphone, the LG Eve or LG InTouch Max, which ran Android 1.5. However, the smartphone era has not been too good for the company, which, although it has had sustained revenues over time, has seen how smartphone sales have not taken off.
LG has launched some of the most successful devices, such as the LG G2 and LG G3, but also big fiascos in terms of sales, such as the LG G4 and LG G5, especially the latter, which opted for a modular design. Since then, LG has not quite hit the key and in its last stages decided to go for dual screens and, even more extravagant, for rotating screens (see the LG Wing).
In any case, LG mobiles have not managed to compete in a market as competitive as that of smartphones. As of today, LG’s market share of approximately 1.7%, according to StatCounter data, and its mobile division has been in losses for six years. Perhaps the saying that a timely withdrawal is not a defeat is true.
As for the current mobile stock, LG’s handset inventory will still be available for sale once it is completed come July 31. Recall that the company has committed to offer updates for an undetermined period of time, but it will depend on the region.
LG has confirmed that the LG Rollable will not be launched. No more models will be manufactured and, therefore, the LG Rollable will remain what we have seen so far: a concept mobile briefly shown in video during CES 2021. It was going to be LG’s third major launch, after the LG Velvet and the LG Wing, but in the end there will be no LG Rollable.