While South Africans were busy enjoying a long weekend, LG’s board of directors were meeting to discuss the future of its mobile phone business and a decision was reached. LG will no longer produce mobile phones.
While this news came as a bit of a shock it’s not altogether unsurprising. Looking at IDC data for the third quarter of 2020, LG doesn’t even feature in the top five brands, instead being lumped into the “others” category. Not great for a brand that was at one stage vying for a top position in the smartphone space.
But this is why the decision to abandon the mobile division makes sense.
Instead of trying to release a new smartphone every six months, LG will shift its focus to what it calls growth sectors. These sectors include electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence, business-to-business solutions and platforms and services.
The mobile phone division will now enter a “wind down” period which should be completed by 31st July.
As for LG smartphone owners, while the firm says it will provide service and support “for a period of time”, this will vary by region. As such, you might want to consider moving to another smartphone brand.
While LG says that after 31st July some smartphones may still be available, considering the business is shuttering, after sales support and spare parts may be difficult to find.
“LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region. LG will work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners throughout the closure of the mobile phone business,” the firm said in a statement.
“Moving forward, LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to help further strengthen competitiveness in other business areas. Core technologies developed during the two decades of LG’s mobile business operations will also be retained and applied to existing and future products,” it added.
We’d say that this leaves a gap in the market for another smartphone brand to fill but that gap has long been filled. Brands such as Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo have been making really great, affordable smartphones for some time now.
Unfortunately, LG spent many years throwing innovations at the wall in hopes something would stick but, ultimately, buyers didn’t want a smartphone with mods or a secondary display, they just wanted a good solid smartphone.
Thankfully, there is more choice than ever when it comes to smartphones, even with LG exiting the market.