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LG pulls plug on mobile business unit

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South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics is closing its mobile business unit.

In a statement, the company says the decision was approved by its board of directors earlier today.

It notes the strategic decision to exit the "incredibly competitive" mobile phone sector will enable the company to focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.

BBC reports that in January, the South Korean electronics giant said it was looking at all options for the mobile division after almost six years of losses totalling around $4.5 billion.

It points out that while Samsung and Apple are the two biggest players in the smartphone market, LG has suffered from its own hardware and software issues.

As LG struggled with losses, it had held talks to sell part of the business but these fell through, it adds.

LG says it will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region.

“LG will work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners throughout the closure of the mobile phone business. Details related to employment will be determined at the local level,” says the company.

“Moving forward, LG will continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to help further strengthen competitiveness in other business areas. Core technologies developed during the two decades of LG’s mobile business operations will also be retained and applied to existing and future products.”

The company points out that the wind down of the mobile phone business is expected to be completed by 31 July, although inventory of some existing models may still be available after that.

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