LG is considering leaving the smartphone game, according to internal memo

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We’d be lying if we said that we weren’t expecting something like this — LG is considering backing out of the smartphone industry. That’s according to the Korea Herald, citing the company’s CEO Kwon Bong-seok.

Life without LG

LG’s head sent out an internal memo hinting at something large on the horizon for the company’s smartphone division — which included the following reassurance: “Regardless of any change in the direction of the smartphone business operation, the employment will be maintained, so there is no need to worry.”

This was followed by a company spokesperson 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. The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.” Which, we think you’ll find, is a lot more explicit about the company’s possible fate/s.

LG, speaking to The Verge, confirmed that the internal memo was real but stressed that nothing has been decided for the company at this point in time. But the Korea Herald report paints a bleaker picture for the future of the company’s handset division. Whatever happens, it seems that it’ll be resolved this year.

We’ve seen LG trending this way in recent months — from a high where its G-series smartphones were considered some of the best in the world, the company has lost traction to the point where it’s outsourced device design and manufacturing. This is a similar route to that taken by BlackBerry, which saw flagging sales and a lack of responsiveness gut its hardware division. LG’s experimental Wing and Rollable smartphones also indicate that the company doesn’t feel it has much to lose.

If the company does fold up its mobile division, we’ll be less than thrilled. The
South Korean tech-maker does field some solid handsets, even though the lack the excitement factor of Samsung and Apple’s headliners. We’d be sad to see them go.

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