Naturally, LG also showed its roll-up phone, which was set to debut at some point this year. This, however, should be part of the ultra-premium level and may not be enough to reverse LG’s steadily declining market share which StatCounter reported had fallen to 1.7% in December 2020. The same month, LG announced that it outsource the design and construction of its low-end phones to third-party ODM manufacturers.
In his message to employees, Kwon reportedly said 60% of employees would be reassigned to other parts of LG’s business. It’s unclear whether the remaining 40% will stay in the much smaller swingarm or give up, although it’s likely LG will need to retain some of that institutional knowledge. One of the reasons Sony has maintained its mobile division for so long is to make sure it can take advantage of the technologies used in phones for any future frontier of gadgets.
In 2016, Engadget asked when LG was finally going lose patience with its loss-making mobile division after falling into a second deep crisis. The company had managed to regain profitability after a loss-making year in 2013, but when it declined in 2015, it never seemed to recover. After all, LG has not been able to compete with the marketing power of Samsung (its Korean rival), nor with the low costs offered by Chinese players like Huawei and BBK, the parent company of Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus. and Realme.