LG exits the smartphone business as Android's future looks terribly bleak
Smartphones are no longer exciting and they never will be again. You know what? That's fine. These devices are just tools in our day to day lives at this point. The good ol' days where people lined up overnight to get the newest models are long gone. Even the once-popular keynote event where companies highlighted their newest phones on a stage has fallen out of favor with consumers -- those events have largely become a joke at this point. An unintended parody of sorts.
And so, it is not surprising that a major smartphone maker has decided to exit the overcrowded and boring mobile market. Yes, folks, after many rumors, LG has finally decided to officially stop making smartphones and tablets.
Consumers have lost interest in LG's mobile devices over the years. This is unfortunate, as the company has made some truly great smartphones, taking design risks when others wouldn't. The company's "V" series of phones were a personal favorite of mine.
Sigh. It seems there is really only room for one premium Android phone-maker, and that is Samsung. Hell, even Google's own Pixel phones are largely ignored! If the maker of Android can't interest consumers with its own premium phones, what chance did LG have?
The now-former phone-maker shares the following statement.
LG’s strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will enable the company to focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.
LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region. LG will work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners throughout the closure of the mobile phone business. Details related to employment will be determined at the local level.
Moving forward, LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to help further strengthen competitiveness in other business areas. Core technologies developed during the two decades of LG’s mobile business operations will also be retained and applied to existing and future products.
The wind down of the mobile phone business is expected to be completed by July 31 although inventory of some existing models may still be available after that.
LG is likely not interested in fighting over scraps with other Android manufacturers, and I don't blame the company. Look, the writing has been on the wall for a while now -- Android is doomed to a race-to-the-bottom future where no-name Chinese makers flood the market with inexpensive, yet good, phones. LG's mobile business has been losing money, and it is wise to exit now and focus on its strengths.
Sadly, I don't see LG's exit from the Android smartphone business being an isolated incident. I fully expect other manufacturers to follow along. Despite current market share dominance, Android's long-term future looks rather bleak. With that said, Apple's prospects with iPhone remains strong as usual.
Photo credit: Tim Bird / Shutterstock