After a decade of failure, LG officially quits the smartphone market

After 12 years of being an Android OEM, LG has had enough. The Korean company announced late last night that it is officially quitting the smartphone market; it plans to close up shop on the entire business by July 31, 2021.

The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since LG has been preparing the public for this decision for some time. LG’s mobile division has had 23 consecutive money-losing quarters, and its last profitable year was in 2014. In January 2020, LG Electronics’ then-brand-new CEO Kwon Bong-seok promised that the troublesome division would be profitable by 2021. That message was apparently “profitability or bust” because by January 2021, LG was warning the public that it would have to make “a cold judgment” about the future of the mobile division. Local media reports claim that LG explored selling the division but couldn’t find a buyer.

It’s not clear what will happen to what feels like “LG’s last smartphone,” the LG Rollable. The flexible-display smartphone was announced at CES 2021, and while the expanding display mechanism was identical to concepts and prototypes from other companies, LG promised that the phone would actually launch in “early 2021.” LG’s press release did not disclose what will happen to the Rollable, but rumors saying the phone might be canceled started circulating almost immediately after it was announced. We won’t hold our breath.

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