Earlier this year it was announced that LG was pulling out of the smartphone business, the company citing heavy competition and a desire to focus on other areas of its business. It would fulfil its final obligations and then they’d be done. So what is the company doing instead?
LG does what it knows
Turns out, the South Korean company isn’t heading too far away from the smartphone industry. It’s investing a substantial amount. — 3.3 trillion won, or a touch over R41 billion — in new OLED production facilities. Specifically, it’s investing in small to mid-sized OLED panels, an area the company hasn’t really ventured into before.
Which is a pity. LG’s OLED TV panels are among the very best in the business and it hasn’t made sense that it wasn’t producing smartphone and tablet displays of similar quality. But it looks like that’s about to change and Samsung may be in for a bit of competition when it comes to supplying OLED screens for Apple’s iPhone in 2024.
LG’s new investment is expected to bear fruit around March 2024, when the planned factory begins making its sixth-generation OLED screens. The company’s display arm has posted a “…year-on-year increase of 31% in revenues as well as a turnaround to operating profit year-on-year while recording a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1% in revenues and 34% in operating profit” this year, so this new investment probably isn’t a terrible idea. At all.