LG Confirms Full Exit From Brutally Competitive Smartphone Market

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LG's retreat from the smartphone market has been rumored for months, with the most recent report suggesting that the South Korean electronics company couldn't find a buyer for its money-losing division. Today, LG confirmed the news in a statement, saying that the decision to abandon ship was approved by its board of directors.

So, what does this mean for LG's smartphone business in the short term? While it would probably be ill-advisable to purchase one at this point, LG says that its current smartphone inventory is still available for sale. Extended software support, including OS updates, which has been somewhat hit-or-miss for LG, will be provided by the company "for a period of time which will vary by region."

The company adds that it is hopeful that its smartphone operations will "wind down" by March 31st.

Given this latest announcement by LG, it would seem as though the swiveling display "Wing" is the last high-profile smartphone to launch from the company. The Wing turned heads with its 6.9-inch primary display, which rotates to reveal a smaller 3.9-inch secondary display underneath. Despite its space-age styling, the Wing is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, which was not in keeping with its $999 price tag.

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Earlier this year at CES 2021, LG gave us a glimpse into the future with a power-operated rollable display that automatically transformed a smartphone into a larger, tablet-esque form-factor with the press of a button. Now that LG is abandoning the smartphone market, this device and the rest of the Explorer Project members are likely canceled.

Since LG couldn't make it work in the "incredibly competitive mobile phone sector," it will now target markets like smart homes, artificial intelligence, electric vehicle components (including lithium-ion batteries), and next-generation 6G wireless technology.

We always hate to see a competitor exit a hot sector like smartphones, but LG's smartphone business hasn't turned a profit in six years. And with home market rival Samsung sucking all of the oxygen out of the room in the Android market, it has become even more challenging for LG to compete. We can only hope that other Android OEMs take the lead on innovative next-generation displays.