Skip to main content

LG considers ditching its smartphone business

LG considers ditching its smartphone business
(Image credit: LG)

LG's time as a smartphone manufacturer might be up. After years of struggling to catch up with the bigger players in the mobile space, including rivals Samsung, LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok sent out a statement to staff explaining that it might take drastic action to end this loss-making sector of its enterprise.

“Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” an LG official told the Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.”

According to the report, LG has lost as much as $4.5 billion over the last five years on smartphones, turning in 22 consecutive money-losing quarters.

Kwon vowed to turn LG's fortunes around in the mobile market when he took charge in January 2020 but, one year down the line, it looks as if he may wish to pull the plug instead.

According to an earlier leak reported by TheElec (now deleted), possible options that keep LG in the smartphone space include continuing sales of lower-end mobiles in Latin America and further development on the LG Rollable smartphone shown off at CES 2021.

LG scored big successes with the likes of its Prada and Chocolate handsets in the middle of the noughties but the move to Android-based smartphones never took off in the same way as it did for Samsung and its Galaxy series of devices. In 2017 the company was sued over poor software integration on certain mobiles which caused the Android OS to get caught in a boot loop, with the devices themselves rendered useless.

More recent What Hi-Fi? reviews of the LG G ThinQ range of smartphones had looked promising but these successes were always dwarfed by superior devices elsewhere. Hopefully, the company will continue with its display innovation for mobile. We await to hear Kwon's choice on the matter.

MORE:

These are the best smartphones for music and movies on the move.

Take a look at the best wireless headphones to go with your portable.

Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.