Recent reports suggest that LG’s smartphone business is closing down.
Though it hasn’t officially been confirmed that LG is ending its smartphone business, after five years and $4.5 billion USD (roughly $5.7 billion CAD) in losses, it would make sense that the company plans to make a shift of some sort.
“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,” said an LG spokesperson in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.”
That said, LG was once a supergiant in the smartphone world and arguably preferable to Samsung’s handsets and their egregious TouchWiz skin or HTC’s lacklustre Sense UI. At one point, LG was also a trendsetter with innovative phones like the LG Rumor and the LG Chocolate.
So, where did it all go wrong? Years ago, LG released the G3, a pretty stellar smartphone that offered an all-around solid package. Following the G3 was LG’s G4, another flagship that improved upon the G3 that received mostly positive reviews, though it was very similar to its predecessor.
Then, LG tried to change things up with the G5, its first and only modular smartphone. This is where things started to go downhill for the South Korean tech giant, and since the LG G5 ultimately amounted to a failure, the company hasn’t really picked up steam again since.
While the LG G6 improved on the LG G5 quite a bit, it featured an inferior processor to every other flagship smartphone on the market back in 2017. Even the LG V series was heavily criticized for its gimmicky secondary screen, though I personally loved it. Finally, while the LG G7 wasn’t necessarily a bad smartphone, it did come under fire from some for playing it safe.
Seemingly taking this criticism to heart, LG decided to play it dangerous with the G8 and the V50. The G8 was straight up gimmicky, with its weird air motions and hand gestures, and the V50 offered the company’s first implementation of a secondary ‘Dual-Screen,’ a feature that LG continues to offer with its flagship devices today.
While the mid-range processor featuring LG Velvet is a solid device and the company’s Explorer Project LG Wing are interesting, it seems to be a matter of too little too late.
It’s also worth noting LG’s UI suffers from very slow Android updates, which has been a huge source of contention for users throughout the years.
With LG’s future in the smartphone industry a large question mark at this point, what is your favourite smartphone the company has ever released? Also, if LG’s smartphone division does fade off into the sunset, would you be disappointed that the LG Rollable, a smartphone that looks undeniably compelling from a technical standpoint, might never be released?