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LG is considering leaving the smartphone market


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LG is considering leaving the smartphone market, according to a letter sent by CEO Kwon Bong-seok to employees, as first reported by The Korea Herald. An LG spokesperson said that competition in the smartphone market is increasingly fierce, forcing LG to "make a cold judgment and the best choice". The Korean company is exploring all options, including the sale, downsizing, or outright termination of its mobile business.

 

LG's mobile division has continuously posted a loss in every single quarter since the second quarter of 2015 - that's 23 quarters in a row - and LG Electronics has essentially been sustained by other divisions that turn a profit. Little by little, the company has shifted its strategy when it comes to smartphones, and LG's biggest phones in 2020 didn't even pack a flagship chipset from Qualcomm or MediaTek. Phones like the Velvet and Wing both used the Snapdragon 765 chipset instead and tried to stand out thanks to unique designs or new concepts, which was part of its strategy to make the business profitable by 2021.

 

Towards the end of last year, a report suggested that LG was looking to outsource the design and manufacturing of more of its low-end and mid-range smartphones, hoping to reduce costs and focus its efforts on more premium products. At this year's CES, LG teased a rollable phone, which the company said would be coming later this year, but that appears to be up in the air now.

 

Reports that LG might be exiting the smartphone business floated around last week, but the company denied those rumors soon after. It could be some time until we know for sure what route the Korean brand will take.

 

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Oh noooo...

 

Rather sad since they offered incredible hardware for a very competitive price, such as the LG G8/G8S 2019, Snapdragon 855, cheaper than its rivals. 

 

Their camera app has always been amazing, offering a decent balance across the different resolutions and shooting modes. Would make sense for Samsung to buy up the division or some other manufacturer looking to establish a base in South Korea. 

 

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The big question is how they will support these existing phones if they are really confirming on exiting the smartphone business. Especially their latest flagship phones that are supposed to get at least 2 major OS updates, and so far none of said latest flagship phones receiving Android 11 yet.

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Maybe not...

 

 

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