LG Electronics exits the smartphone business – here’s how its mobile fortunes swayed over the last two decades

LG Electronics exits the smartphone business – here’s how its mobile fortunes swayed over the last two decades
LG Wing is the company's latest flagship phone.LG
  • LG, one of the oldest and major players in the smartphone industry has another first to its name – this time for becoming the first major company to exit the smartphone business.
  • The news of LG’s exit came following weeks of speculation and an unsuccessful attempt to sell the smartphone division to Vietnam’s Vingroup.
  • We take a look at LG’s often bold and experimental streak of innovations in the mobile phone industry, dating back to its entry in 2002.
LG Electronics, the South Korean giant – has exited the smartphone industry following weeks of speculation. LG’s exit makes it the first major player to quit the smartphone business amid mounting losses.

According to a statement issued by the company, LG will complete the winding down of its smartphone business by July 31, this year. It will continue to sell the existing inventory of phones even after shutting shop, until stocks last.

Earlier, a Reuters report confirmed LG’s exit, stating that LG’s smartphone division had been making losses for the last 6 years – totaling to $4.5 billion in the time. The report also adds that LG tried to sell the smartphone division to Vietnam’s Vingroup before talks fell through.

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LG has a notable presence in the US, with a market share of 9% in the December 2020 quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. Its exit will allow Apple and Samsung to gobble up even more market share.

The end of an innovative smartphone brand


LG has been known for coming up with really good innovations. Some of these include being amongst the first companies to launch phones with ultra wide angle cameras that let you capture a much wider scene when compared to regular cameras.

Apart from that, LG was also the first to come up with high-resolution Quad HD displays, phones with two selfie cameras or the wacky phones with two displays – like the LG Wing.

But beyond that, LG had been plagued by several issues in its smartphones – both hardware and software – contributing to the brand’s decline over the last few years.

A look back at the two decades of LG smartphones and mobiles

2002 – LG enters the mobile phone business with B1200, a candybar phone

2003 – LG G7030 launched with two displays

2003 – LG G7070 flip phone launched with a swiveling display and a 0.3MP camera

2006 – LG KE600 launched with a 2MP camera and a circular button for call management

2006 – LG Prada became the first phone with a capacitive touchscreen, months before the launch of the iPhone

2008 – LG launched the first full touchscreen phone with a 8MP camera

2009 – LG GW620, the company's first Android smartphone, launched

2009 – LG New Chocolate with a 21:9 display launched – a decade before these screens became popular

2011 – LG Optimus 2X launched with the world’s first phone with a dual core processor

2012 – Nexus 4 launched with flagship features at an affordable price

2013 – LG launched the G Flex smartphone, a phone that could actually bend to a certain extent

2013 – LG delivered another fan-favourite in the form of the Nexus 5

2015 – LG V10 launched with a secondary display to show notifications

2018 – LG V40 ThinQ launched - it was the first phone with telephoto and ultrawide angle camera

2020 – LG goes bold with the Wing 5G launch – a phone with two displays that can swivel

2021 – LG exits the smartphone industry after 6 years of losses


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