South Korean electronics giant, LG, may be leaving the smartphone market after all.
Rumors are circulating that its CEO, Kwon Bong-seok, sent an internal memo to staff on Wednesday hinting at the fact that major changes would happen in that area. These could well be true given the company's smartphone business lost about $4.5 billion over the last five years.
The news was first reported by The Korea Herald.
"Regardless of any change in the direction of the smartphone business operation, the employment will be maintained, so there is no need to worry," wrote Bong-Seok, as The Korea Herald reported.
Adding to this comment, an LG spokesperson told The Korea Herald that "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."
Nothing has yet been finalized or been made official, but the news comes with a mixture of surprise in some ways, and not at all in others.
It could be interpreted as surprising given LG recently unveiled a teaser of a smartphone with a rollable screen at this year's CES 2021.
On the flip side, it's not so blindsiding given its long list of smartphone competitors, such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, and that its smartphone profit numbers have been on a steady decline for the past five years. Data from Counterpoint clearly displays the U.S. market share from smartphone companies, and LG only has a small percentage.
It's not gone down without a fight, however. For example, last year LG closed off its G series smartphone brand so as to focus on new smartphone projects, and since then it launched two flagship phones, the LG Velvet and the LG Wing.
In the meantime, while it's still here, take a look at LG's Rollable smartphone, teased at this year's CES.