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LG is reportedly thinking about exiting the smartphone industry. LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok wrote in an internal memo that the company is considering selling its mobile phone division, among other things. At the same time, there are also voices against it.
As January 2021 draws to a close, rumours are mounting that LG is looking to sell its mobile phone division. This was triggered by a memo from LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok, but it seems that this plan is by no means set in stone yet. In addition to a possible sale of the smartphone business, a complete exit without a sale or a downsizing of the division are also under discussion. According to the original memo, the company does not want to part with the affected employees; the jobs are still safe.
LG confirmed the authenticity of the memo from January 20th to The Verge. At the same time, however, they noted that they have not yet made a final decision. "LG Electronics management is committed to making whatever decision is necessary to resolve its mobile business challenges in 2021," a company spokesperson said.
LG CEO: 'Time for LG to make a cold judgment'
The LG CEO cites fierce competition as the reason for the possible departure, saying, "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."
Back in December 2020, there were reports from Reuters that the company was planning to at least outsource its low-end and mid-range smartphones. LG had vehemently denied another report about leaving the smartphone business to Android Police last week.
Official announcement possibly on January 26
LG has posted losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years. A now-deleted article from TheElec talked about making an official announcement on January 26th, 2021.
Only then will we possibly learn what the future holds for LG smartphones. This includes not only recently unveiled devices like the LG Rollable, but also future support for smartphones that have already been sold, as well as the other devices from LG's Explore Project, which includes the LG Wing.
LG Display stops LCD production
In addition to reports of the end of LG's own smartphone production, TheElec yesterday reported the end of some LCD manufacturing by LG Display. Production for Apple's iPhone has reportedly been halted as early as the third quarter of 2020. Building smartphone LCDs for other manufacturers then ended in the fourth quarter. The manufacturing facilities will now be used to produce displays for the automotive sector.