Speculation of the future of LG Electronics’ troubled smartphone division intensified, with The Korea Herald reporting a review was underway to define if it would downsize, sell or withdraw from the market completely.
A representative told the newspaper a “cold judgement” on the best choice needed to be made following continued “fierce” market conditions in the smartphone segment.
The comments came after media in South Korea published an internal message reportedly sent by LG Electronics president and CEO Kwon Bong-seok to staff working in its mobile division. In the note, he promised jobs would be retained regardless of any change of direction for the unit.
News of potentially abandoning the segment came only a week after the company talked-up its forthcoming rollable smartphone display, the latest attempt by the manufacturer to differentiate its high-end offer with alternative form factors.
Despite attempts to revive its fortunes through regular launches of devices at a range of price points and devising flagships with USPs, the smartphone unit is regularly cited as a blot on the electronic giant’s otherwise positive financial results with wide losses often reported.
The Korea Herald estimated the division’s losses totalled around KRW5 trillion ($4.5 billion) in the five years to end-2020.
In December 2020, Reuters reported the company was increasing outsourcing in an attempt to cut costs and revive the division’s fortunes.
LG Electronics is due to release Q4 2020 figures next week.