LG is exiting the smartphone business, the company has confirmed. The decision will “enable the company to focus resources in growth 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 said in a statement.
Existing phones will remain on sale, and LG says it’ll continue to support its products “for a period of time which will vary by region.” LG’s statement says it expects to have completed the business’ closure by the end of July this year.
The move was rumoured for several months, following the division’s huge losses over the past five years. Once considered a rival to fellow South Korean manufacturer Samsung, LG’s recent high-end smartphones have struggled to compete. In contrast, its more affordable handsets have faced stiff competition from Chinese rivals.
Reports that LG has been considering exiting smartphones have been around since the beginning of this year. In March, reports revealed that the company had tried to find a buyer for its smartphone business, but talks were unproductive, and it could shut down the division.
LG released a series of eye-catching devices with unusual form factors, but none of these features was useful to turn the phones into mainstream hits. Meanwhile, the company’s more traditional handsets fell behind their rivals in core areas like camera performance.
LG joins a long list of high-profile device makers to give up on smartphones over the years, including Nokia, whose brand lives on atop handsets made by HMD, Blackberry and HTC.
Source: The Verge