After being an Android OEM for 12 years, LG has had enough. The South Korean company announced last night that it will officially withdraw from the smartphone market. It plans to close all business stores by July 31, 2021.
This news is not surprising, because LG has been preparing for this decision for some time. LG’s mobile division has lost 23 consecutive quarters, and its last profitable year was 2014. In January 2020, LG Electronics’ new CEO Quan Fengxi promised that the troublesome department would be profitable in 2021. The news is obviously “profit or bankruptcy”, because LG warned the public by January 2021 that it will have to make a “cold judgment” on the future of the mobile sector. Local media reported that LG tried to sell the unit, but could not find a buyer.
It is not clear what will happen to the “Last Smartphone of LG” LG Rollable. The flexible display smartphone was announced at CES 2021, and the expanding display mechanism is the same as the concepts and prototypes of other companies, and LG promises that the phone will actually be launched in early 2021. LG’s press release did not reveal what will happen to Rollable, but after rumors that this phone may be cancelled, it began circulating almost immediately after the announcement. We will not hold our breath.
For ten years, there are still errands, heads and dead devices
LG’s mobile phones are never good. The company has responded between completely manufacturing the products Samsung is manufacturing (but with low marketing and brand awareness) and manufacturing unattractive mm head phones (without the rationale behind).Who can forget skunks like the LG G Flex in 2013, which used flexible display technology to create a bending phone. The whole body is like a banana for no reason. LG made this mistake again with LG G Flex 2 in 2015, again for no obvious reason. The 2015 LG V10 has a small additional display above the main display, so you can see the icon or the time (so, just like the main display?). The 2016 LG G5 has a movable bottom, which enables a modular accessory ecosystem. You can replace the battery, fasten the camera handle with the shutter button, or connect a new audio DAC to get better headset sound. The 2019 “LG V50 ThinQ 5G” has a second screen that can be connected. The 2020 LG Wing is a T-shaped smartphone, and the main screen can be tilted to the side to show another smaller screen below.
When LG does not release ridiculous phone designs, the company’s more ordinary phones will never be able to answer the question “Why should I buy this phone instead of a Samsung phone?” Both LG and Samsung have launched thicker-skinned Android phones with the latest specifications, but if the two phones are almost identical, there is no reason not to buy a Samsung phone because the sales and marketing methods of Samsung phones are very powerful. If you want to be truly generous, LG’s biggest contribution to the market is to manufacture the first 1440p smartphone (LG G3) and the first ultra-wide-angle camera (LG G5). Both show that LG usually cannot provide killer smartphone features. These two functions are not enough to be a good reason to buy LG smartphones.
Even if people do choose LG mobile phones, LG will do its best to ensure that they are no longer LG customers. For many years, bad smartphones produced by the company failed prematurely due to poor manufacturing quality. Wrong soldering on the motherboard of the mobile phone will cause the memory of the mobile phone to be disconnected. After years of complaints, the company’s fake and inferior craftsmanship won a series of class-action lawsuits against G4, V10, G5, V20 and Nexus 5X to “start the loop”. Even if your LG phone does not die prematurely, you may be angry with its powerful Android update support, which usually results in a 9-month update wait time. The company even once claimed to launch the “LG Software Upgrade Center” to try to fix its bad update image, which resulted in absolutely no changes and quickly became a match for community jokes.
The company’s most successful device was to cooperate with Google through the Nexus program, but even so, due to LG’s fiasco start-up cycle and other poor craftsmanship issues led to premature death. LG has acquired co-branding on Nexus 4 (2012), Nexus 5 (2013) and Nexus 5X (2015) and Google’s anonymous manufacturer’s Pixel 2 XL.
LG will leave a considerable gap in the prepaid and mid-range shovel market, which will account for most of its 10% market share in the United States. Samsung or Chinese OEMs may swallow it up soon.
LG joined BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Essential, Facebook, Amazon, Mozilla, Microsoft, Acer, Palm, Panasonic, Toshiba, HP, LeEco, Nextbit, Dell, Gigabyte, Ericsson and many other companies to cut it in the smartphone market. RIP.