Twenty years or so ago, LG was a very serious contender for mobile phone market share. The South Korean technology company made well-crafted phones in those old good days. Oh! Boy! Those were simply images of lust.
Mobile phones were not smart in those days; they did not have to be. After all, was making a phone call from a small mobile gadget not magical enough then? While everybody else made flat phones, LG and Motorola made curved and flappable ones. In those days the colloquial name for LG was “Life is Good”.
Life is no longer good for LG smartphone business. According to a leaked memo from the company which Korean Times obtained, LG lost $4.5 billion in the last five years. The memo whose authenticity LG has confirmed, indicates that the company is considering to sale or fully shut down its smartphone business.
During its recent shareholders meeting on March 24, 2021, LG was expected to lift the lid of secrecy on LG’s mobile future but Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Bae Doo-Yong was elusive and only said that LG was keeping its options open. Whatever that meant.
LG was the early bird catching the Android worm and for several years forced its hometown ‘playmate’, Samsung to play follow-the-leader game. As they usually say in business, the top is some very lonely place; the hilltop soon became too cold for LG.
By the time Google’s Android was into the Cupcakes and Donuts versions, LG’s fortunes had begun to falter. When Google released the sweat and delicious Marshmallow Android, it was apparent that LG was too diabetic to swallow the sugar-concentrated Android profits.
To savage the good that was still left in LG’s virus infested bloodstream, the company took a completely different design route in 2016 and released LGG5 with appetising modular accessories that let customers customize own LG smartphone. Unfortunately customers were not enthused with the radical design move. Sometimes good ideas don’t see the light of the day.
LG upped the ante with the release of LG G6 and Velvet models. Unfortunately that failed miserably to lift LG out of its nosedive trajectory.
LG produced the last dying kicks of a horse with the introduction of 2020 LG Wing Swiveling smartphone. That effort prove to be too little and too late to dethrone the likes of Samsung Galaxy S20.
Will LG’s Smartphone business fallout shift Samsung’s market share a tad upwards? No. Samsung is already the lion of the Android jungle. Motorola will surely be more pleased with the news as its smartphones compete in the same price bracket as LG’s. Life is no longer the same.