The strength of LG’s smartphone business has been in doubt since the beginning of this year, despite the company going all-in on some aggressively-innovative smartphone designs. A memo circulated in January that pointed to extreme changes at the company, and the possible loss of its smartphone division. That loss is looking more likely than ever now.
Loss looming for LG
A new report from the Korea Herald claims that matters are looking direr than we’d expected. The company was reportedly looking at spinning off its smartphone division to another company, but the report claims that the South Korean outfit is now considering shuttering it entirely.
An anonymous industry source is reported as saying, “LG reportedly had talks with others over the sale of the unit but apparently there was not much progress in their negotiations. It seems that selling its entire mobile business appears to be difficult at this moment, as is the partial sale of the unit.”
The company was reported to be in talks with two companies: Vingroup, from Vietnam and Germany’s Volkswagen. That would have been a weird scenario — a smartphone made by VW. The GTi version would probably go faster than all the others, but nobody who owned one would know how to use it properly.
What comes next?
LG’s smartphone division is reportedly on track to keep going as is for the next two months or so, but the company is said to be looking at how to utilise the division’s staff elsewhere. January’s memo said that everyone employed there would remain employed, in other capacities.
Development of the company’s Rollable smartphone, which debuted at CES, is also reportedly on hold. That handset was supposed to launch this year, regardless of troubles in the division, but even that’s in doubt. Another weird-and-wonderful handset, code-named ‘Rainbow’, is also on hold for the moment.
What does the future hold for the South Korean smartphone maker? That’s uncertain at present but the company will supposedly reveal the fate of its smartphone brand following a board meeting in April this year. We’ll have our eyes open for that one. It’d be sad to see the brand go.