April 5 is a sad day for fans of LG mobile phones. After struggling to compete against the likes of Samsung and Apple, LG has made the decision to close its mobile phone business as of July 31. A notice on the mobile phone section of the LG website thanks customers for their loyal support and gives a list of faqs for existing users.
LG entered the phone business in 1995 and produced the very first touchscreen phone in 2006, the LG Prada – coming out months before the first iPhone. It gave us the long and thin LG New Chocolate in 2009 and the budget Android classic, the Nexus 4, in 2012.
More recently LG had a resurgence of innovative models that made our best android phones guide. The LG Wing provided a rotating screen to give it a T-shaped display, that while a little odd-looking, was a clever solution to endless vertical videos and awkward phone grips. And the first rollable phone, which LG teased at this year’s CES, suggested a bright future for the brand but will now never see the light of day.
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However, these innovations weren’t enough to bring the business back. LG’s smartphone business had made losses totaling 4.5 billion over the last six years. Back in January, it had been discussing ways to save the business and had been in talks with various companies about a sale. Unfortunately, these talks didn’t amount to a deal, and so the decision was made to simply close the division.
According to the LG statement, phones will still be available while stocks last after the July 31 date and all limited warranties will be honored. The closure of the mobile division will not affect LG’s line of wireless headphones, earbuds and Bluetooth speakers.
This closure is a great loss to the smartphone world, as it not only reduces the competition for the big players, but it removes a company that always pushed the boundaries and gave us new and interesting devices. It’s sad that we will never see an LG Rollable, but at least we still have the rollable TV to look forward to.