LG phones could be dead — here's why

LG Wing review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It seems that LG has been attempting to sell its mobile phone division to little interest, and now the company may shut down the business altogether. 

According to a report from Bloomberg, as interpreted through a story by Korean publication DongA, LG was in talks with Volkswagen AG and Vingroup JSC of Vietnam for a potential sale. According to DongA, talks around a sale of its phone division have come to a close. This gives little confidence to the future of the LG rollable phone shown off at CES earlier this year.

While LG's CEO did commit to turning the company's smartphone business around back in 2020, it seems that continued competition from Apple, Samsung and China has been too much for the Korean manufacturer. 

According to DongA, LG has shelved the first-half of 2021 smartphone releases for the time being. This includes the much anticipated rollable phone. Earlier this month, it was also reported by Korean publication Chosun that LG's V60 was indefinitely delayed

LG will likely give an official statement to its employees sometime next month. 

This does not mean that LG will exit the smartphone supply chain entirely. At the moment, LG is one of the main suppliers of flexible OLED displays to Apple. It also provides panels to other phone manufacturers. 

There's been plenty of pontification as to why LG has been unable to find footing in the competitive smartphone landscape. Some, like YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss, argue that LG has an inability to stick with one concept or design decision, doing little to help cement brand loyalty.

While the company does introduce cool phone ideas, like the swiveling display found on its LG Wing or the modular design on the LG G5, none of these ideas stick around for future iterations. Because of that, phone buyers never get to see a version two of these ideas, leaving LG's unique phones to fall into the ether. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.