LG Electronics restructured its ailing mobile communications division in an apparent attempt to cut costs, Reuters reported, with measures including an increase in outsourcing of design and manufacture for mid- and lower-tier devices.

Quoting a manufacturer representative, the news publication added the company had changed around its R&D and production facilities with the aim of focusing its in-house efforts on its premium line.

Although showing sequential and year-on-year improvements in Q3, the company continues to lose money from its mobile communications segment: operating loss in the quarter was KRW148 billion ($136.1 million).

In January the company warned it expected the unit to suffer from “severe competition” in selling 5G handsets, noting the success of the division hinged on its ability to sell mid- to high-tier devices to the mass market.

Later in the year, it warned pandemic-related production issues would further hamper progress.

Although launching a spate of mid- and lower-tier devices in 2020, it has also attempted to differentiate its offering in the premium segment through the LG Wing from its Explorer Project segment, a unit charged with bringing high-end devices with original form factors to market.

Prior to the latest move, LG already outsourced a number of elements for its branded devices at the value end of the market.