LG’s smartphone business is not in the best shape right now. The company switched to an outsourcing model for its budget phones back in December, and soon after, reports of the company planning an exit from the smartphone business started making rounds. Earlier this year, we heard that Vietnam’s Vingroup put an offer on the table to purchase LG’s phone business, but it appears that the talks didn’t proceed. As per a fresh report coming out of the company’s home market, LG failed to court a buyer and is now contemplating shutting down its bleeding phone business.
As per a report from Korea-based Dong-A Ilbo (via Bloomberg). LG was in talks to sell its phone business – or a large part of it – to Vietnam’s Vingroup Joint Stock Company and Volkswagen, but the negotiations reportedly ended as the sale didn’t receive much traction. LG reportedly put its production plan in Vietnam and smartphone patents up for sale, but failed to find a buyer at an acceptable price. Back in January, an LG executive mentioned that the company was exploring all possible options – sale, withdrawal, and downsizing of the smartphone business.
LG has reportedly put the development of an upcoming phone codenamed ‘Rainbow’ on hold indefinitely, a device that planned to succeed the LG Velvet and expected to arrive in March itself. The company was reportedly in talks with carriers regarding its upcoming phone, but those plans now seem unlikely to come to fruition. LG’s premium phones have struggled to outpace rivals from Chinese brands, and the horrible state of software updates is also a major deterrent for potential buyers.
A major casualty of LG’s phone business exit will be the highly-anticipated LG Rollable phone. Even though the company has asserted that the aforementioned device will make it to the market, multiple reports over the past few weeks have cast doubt over a potential market release. Now, the latest one also mentions that the chances of LG Rollable hitting the shelves are slim and it may never get in the hands of customers despite all the initial hype and hoopla.