What you need to know
- LG may give up on the smartphone market this year.
- The company's CEO has told employees that it is open to "all possibilities" for the smartphone business.
- LG's smartphone business has lost close to $4.5 billion over the past five years.
After losing money in the smartphone market for five years straight, LG may finally call it quits this year. According to a report published by The Korea Herald, the company's CEO Kwon Bong-seok has told employees that it is "considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.
In a statement sent to the publication, an LG official said:
Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice.
Confirming the authenticity of the internal memo, an LG spokesperson told The Verge:
LG Electronics management is committed to making whatever decision is necessary to resolve its mobile business challenges in 2021. As of today, nothing has been finalized.
It was recently rumored that LG has decided to withdraw from the smartphone market, but the company strongly denied the rumor. Despite changing its design direction with the LG Velvet last year, the company hasn't been able to compete with rivals. As per data from Omdia, LG could only ship around 9.3 million phones in Q3 2020. Over the last five years, the company's smartphone division has lost around $4.5 billion.
At CES earlier this month, the company teased its first Rollable device, which transforms from a regular-sized phone to a mini tablet - thanks to its resizable screen. Now that the future of LG's smartphone business remains uncertain, it remains to be seen if the "Rollable" will see the light of day.
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