The field inside the “incredibly competitive” arena of smartphones narrows down as one of the pioneers, South Korean tech titan LG, takes its leave.
On Monday, after registering years of losses, LG announced that it will be shutting down its mobile phone business. This means that manufacture is stopping, and that the company is letting its current supplies slowly dwindle without replenishing inventory.
“LG’s 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,” the company’s official statement read.
If you’re reading this from the LG smartphone in your hand, should you be worried?
Despite shuttering its mobile phone division, LG sets its current mobile users’ minds at ease by promising to “continue to provide service support and software update […] for a period of time which will vary by region.”
This means that current and even some future users can still have their phone serviced, repaired, or replaced for the duration of your device’s warranty.
For true LG fans, the company’s decision to discontinue its innovative line of smartphones was a bitter pill to swallow. That’s because, among all the top smartphone players, LG was the one that consistently pushed the envelope in terms of design, capabilities, and features.
Never forget that LG was the first to incorporate the capacitive touch screen and an all-touch user interface into a smartphone, with 2006’s LG KE850 Prada. Sorry, Apple fans, LG actually beat the iPhone to it!
Amidst today’s cutthroat battle between the sharpest camera features, we tend to overlook that LG was the cornerstone of that discussion. In 2007, the LG KU990 Viewty was the first smartphone to record slow-motion video.
Then in 2011, LG hit us with the one-two punch with the LG Optimus 2X, the first phone that could record a FullHD video, and the LG Optimus 3D, the first phone to feature a dual-camera. Fun fact: The Optimus 2X was also the first smartphone to use a dual-core processor in the market!
LG was also a force to be reckoned with in terms of design. Its 2009 LG BL40 New Chocolate was the first phone to have a screen with an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. Two years later, it debuted its curved smartphone screen that would later become the signature look of the LG G Flex, the world’s first flexible phone.
Finally, LG’s last moment under the limelight came in the form of the LG Rollable, a smartphone that can be “rolled up” into a larger tablet. Too bad it didn’t make the light of day.
Still, it was the perfect punctuation to a legacy defined by innovation. Here’s to hoping LG’s ground-breaking ideas seep into its other tech divisions.