There have been years of chattering about LG quitting its smartphone business.
It was once the third best-selling mobile brand in the world. These days, the deficit business hasn’t even put the world’s smartphones on the top 10 list. Market research firm IDC is in 11th place.
But the decision to give up in the end marks an important moment.
It’s not just because other struggling companies like Sony may trigger the same decision.
But it stood out because LG tried to offer something different from other markets.
It was only January that made fun of it It was intended to be the next innovation: A mobile phone whose screen size can be expanded by further expanding the flexible display as needed.
Natalia Paul, a digital editor for Staff magazine, told the BBC, “LG has been unable to reach the sweet spot for consumers, despite a brief excitement with great technology. Some are cool but too niche. “
“And when it comes to more mainstream smartphones, they just didn’t do as much as the competition.”
The shame of the problem is that this should have been an opportunity for LG.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy S21 represents a fairly conservative update to its predecessor.
And Huawei, temporarily the world’s best-selling Android phone maker, may be in the process of withdrawing even after the United States has blocked access to the required processor chips.
However, many other Chinese brands, including Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus, thrive on advanced models that are priced at a level where LG simply cannot make a profit and compete.
“LG’s decision to abandon mobile phones reflects the relentless competitive pressures it has faced in recent years,” commented Benwood of CCS Insight.
“Other subscale phone makers will wonder how long they can stay in such a supersaturated market.”
Below are some of LG’s most notable phones over the years.
LG Prada (2007):
Little remembered these days, LG beat Apple’s iPhone with this color touchscreen smartphone (also known as the KE850).
However, both devices used capacitive technology to detect finger taps by changes in the display’s electric field rather than pressure, but only the iPhone can register multiple fingers at once, such as pinch-to-zoom. Can be executed.
LG phones had unique advantages such as camera flash and the ability to record video.
However, its operating system (based on Adobe’s Flash software) did not take full advantage of even its limited touch capabilities.
For example, I didn’t have a Qwerty keyboard. This means that the owner could only enter the message by repeatedly pressing the digitally represented key on the numeric keypad, as was the case with older models.
LG G2 (2013):
After the success of the company’s Android-based Optimus G phone, LG engineers turned their attention to making it easier to control their successors.
The problem was that users found it difficult to work with devices that at the time looked like large 5-inch (12.7 cm) displays.
The solution they came up with was to attach a push button to the back of the device. It behaved differently depending on how long it was pressed.
This and follow-up G3, Focused the camera using a laser beam, Marked the highest point of the company.
LG G Flex (2013):
LG and its rival Samsung were obsessed with the possibility of using flexible screens on mobile phones in 2013, even though engineering limitations both relied on their use on non-flexible devices.
The two chose to bend the device differently, but the results were the same. Consumers recognized both as gimmicks.
G Flex has provided another headline-worthy feature. It is a “self-healing” rear, which means that small scratches disappear.
But it was by no means a bestseller.
Still, LG couldn’t stop trying again on the G Flex 2 in 2015, but the form factor was slightly smaller.
However, the true legacy of G Flex, though too expensive for the mass market, has encouraged engineers to find ways to use winding display technology to create devices that magnify the screen.
LG G5 (2015):
The idea of add-on modules is before smartphones. For example, Sony Ericsson feature phones had a bolt-on camera.
However, the G5 aims to take this to a new level, with a split design that allows the ever-expanding range of parts to be inserted in place.
The first range of “friends” included a module to play music with higher quality, a camera grip with manual control … and unfortunately that was all.
Despite plans for third parties to introduce their own modules, nothing has ever appeared.
Lenovo later tried and failed its own spin on the idea.
Users found this idea too annoying and seemed more interested in buying a complete new device than spending on hardware expansion of existing products.
LG V50 (2019):
The V50 had a faint response to the G5’s modular ambitions.
The handset is on a second display to provide individual touchscreen controls for the game, to show vlogger live footage on one display, and to show viewer comments on another display. Characterized by the ability to snap.
But in the end, it proved again to be the solution to look for the problem.
LG Wing (2020):
Wing seems destined to be LG’s last released attempt to rethink smartphones.
The handset has a large screen that rotates to display the small screen below.
Again, the idea was to provide touchscreen controls that wouldn’t hide the actions of the game or movie, or allow the owner to use the two apps at the same time.
Of course, the trade-off was that something would break, despite the promise that the hinge would last at least 200,000 revolutions.