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LG CEO on if the company is exiting the smartphone business

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South Korean Publication The Elec reported not too long ago that LG was going to exit the smartphone industry. The publication claimed that LG would announce the decision by the end of the month. It was also said that except for the LG Rollable, all development would be halted.

Android Police reached out to the South Korean company’s global communicator for consumer tech, Ken Hong to find out if there was any substance to the rumor. Here is what Ken had to say:

The Elec report has been deleted from the website.

This means that LG’s smartphone unit is still alive, though it’s not exactly kicking. 

In December, Reuters reported that LG has reorganized its smartphone wing to focus in-house research and production on premium devices, and outsource the design and manufacture of low and mid-end mobile phones to original design manufactures (ODM). This could help the mobile communications business, which has seen 22 consecutive loss-making quarters, cut costs, and better compete with Chinese companies. 

The LG Rollable has seemingly been delayed 

The Rollable smartphone, which was previewed at CES 2021, was earlier expected to arrive in March. The phone has a screen that extends upwards to create a larger display. 

Keep in mind that the device was only shown on video and the company didn’t bring an actual prototype to the trade show.

Naver seems to know why. Per the site, there are some issues with the display and the driving part of the LG Rollable and the current implementation could pose durability problems. There are also some internal disagreements between company execs regarding the device. 

As a result, the launch has supposedly been pushed to September. 

According to one leak, the device is going to be mighty expensive and this makes us wonder if the Rollable will be more of a niche product. This doesn’t sound like the brightest of ideas for a company that needs to increase shipment volume to stay in business. 

We will have to wait and see if CEO Kwon Bong-seok will be able to make good on his last year’s commitment of making the mobile business profitable by 2021.

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