LG has announced it has quit the smartphone business, winding up all device activities by 31 July. Customers may be able to find existing models for sale after that date. It will instead focus on newly emerging areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.
“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. Details related to employment will be determined at the local level.”
LG was known for experimenting with this mobile devices, creating modular phones like the G5, folding phones, and even touted a rollable phone. The problem for LG was typically that they released something too early and it had build faults, or too late and the market had moved on. LG was the world’s third-largest phone manufacturer in 2013, according to Reuters, but in recent years it had struggled with poor reviews of its phones.
“LG failed to hit the sweet spot for consumers despite providing short bursts of excitement with brilliant technology – some of its high-end products were cool but just too niche,” Natalya Paul, digital editor of Stuff magazine, told the BBC.
LG joins a club of vendors that have left the highly competitive smartphone market like HTC, Blackberry and Nokia as their market share dwindled to unsupportable levels. It’s sad to see one less provider of smartphones in the market, particularly one so innovative. Hopefully the remaining players like Samsung, Apple and Google don’t get complacent and continue to push new features forward.