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So long, LG. Company to shut down mobile phone division

Once a pioneer in the mobile world, major contender to Samsung, and partner of Google, LG has long been a tentpole of the smartphone industry. However, the popularity of LG devices has been waning in recent years, and unfortunately, it seems they’ve finally decided to call it quits. As of July 31, 2021, LG will officially exit the smartphone market to focus on their other, more successful divisions, including smarthome products like TVs and kitchen appliances.

The company, based in South Korea (also home to Samsung) said (in a regulatory filing) that after July 31, the company will no longer develop, produce, or sell any products under its mobile communications (MC) branch. The reasons given for this decision were a slump in sales and a general increase in competition.

This comes as a shock to some who follow the company closely, as the company has been publicly vocal about their willingness to continue, and had even been developing innovative new products (like the rollable, flex-screen flagships, which it appears we will now never see come to fruition).

However, the numbers paint a rather grim picture. LG’s mobile business hasn’t been profitable since the second quarter of 2015, and attempts to overhaul the business have largely failed. Its accumulated operating losses reached 5 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) last year, which is a staggering number. This is surprising, given that LG was once the world’s third-largest handset maker.

As a last attempt to save the business, the company recently released the Wing, a unique dual-screen smartphone with rotating displays. While it was a unique approach and was well-reviewed by journalists, its sales were apparently disappointing.

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