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One-Time Pioneer LG Electronics to Close Smartphone Business


LG Unveils G7 ThinQ Smartphone

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

LG Electronics Inc. is shutting down its loss-making mobile communications unit in a move to streamline operations and focus on future projects such as electric vehicle components.

The company will end production and sales of mobile phone products on July 31 to focus resources on growth areas including EVs, smart homes, robotics and artificial intelligence, it said in a statement. Phones constituted 8.2% of LG sales last year and there will be a short-term loss of revenue but the company expects the closure to be financially favorable in the long run. It’ll strength its car-parts business and continue to develop mobile technologies such as sixth-generation networking and cameras, it said.

Shares rose as much as 4.1% in the wake of the announcement. Affiliate LG Display Co. also climbed as much as 6.3%.

LG was one of the pioneers of the Android operating system, collaborating with Alphabet Inc.’s Google on the Nexus smartphone line and producing some of the best camera and display technology in the category’s early days. In the U.S., the company was third behind Apple Inc.’s iPhone and fellow South Korean giant Samsung Electronics Co., but it hasn’t been competitive for years and Chinese upstart OnePlus has since replaced it amid a global loss of market share to overseas rivals.



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