South Korean dishwasher maker LG pulls the plug on smartphones

South Korean dishwasher maker LG Electronics has pulled the plug on its failed wannabe iPhone unit after struggling and failing to find a buyer, a move that is set to make it the first major smartphone brand to completely withdraw from the market.

LG exits smartphone business

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone, killer.


Its decision to pull out will leave its 10% share in North America, where it is the No. 3 brand, to be gobbled up by Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc.

LG’s smartphone division has logged nearly six years of losses totalling some $4.5 billion. Dropping out of the fiercely competitive sector would allow LG to focus on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices and smart homes, it said in a statement.

In better times, LG was early to market with a number of cell phone innovations including ultra-wide angle cameras and at its peak in 2013, it was the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple.

LG’s current global share is only about 2%… LG’s smartphone division, the smallest of its five divisions accounting for about 7% of revenue, is expected to be wound down by July 31.

MacDailyNews Take: One South Korean dishwasher maker down, one to go.

Going forward, LG will do better by concentrating on making components for real iPhones.


  1. Be careful what you wish for. The Android ecosystem is important for giving consumers choice and, truthfully, to keep Apple honest, competitive and innovative. I don’t see the demise of LG’s cellphone business as that good of a thing. Inevitable, yes, but it just means they might not make the same investments in cellphone technology in the future.

    1. For as long as I can remember, people have been claiming that Apple needs competition in order to innovate. It’s always been untrue and is even more untrue these days.

      Just think about the iPhone development cycle. The design of the sept 2021 model would have been signed off ages ago so that parts could be ordered and manufactured. The designs of the 2022 models will be at quite an advanced stage right now, with some plans for future models too.

      If Applevwere to copy others, it would be starting off too late and by the time it’s in their new iPhones, it would be three year old technology. That’s not how Apple works.

      1. There is no question that the Android ecosystem has kept Apple on its toes. The two ecosystems copy and borrow from each other all the time. And yes, Apple frequently introduces technology three years or more after Android. That’s not to say that Apple doesn’t innovate like crazy or that they always do it exactly the same way as Android. In general Apple does try to do things differently, when there is a better way. And at any given time Apple is ahead in some areas and behind in others. I am specifically referring to technology and engineering. I’m not talking about services or the app ecosystem.

        And do you think that Samsung doesn’t have an equally long development cycle? I mean there are some basic realities to developing products. A car, for instance, takes at least 5 years to develop from the beginning to start of production.

        What truly differentiates Apple’s product development approach is their insistence to focus on the user experience, first and always.

        1. It’s entirely possible for small scale manufacturers to copy products rapidly. Samsung was notorious for being fast copiers. If a company brought out an innovative device, Samsung was able to get one to market in just a few months.

          Apple sells phones by the hundreds of millions. There is no way they can change their minds because their supply chains need to be established well ahead of time if the volumes needed are to be delivered consistently.

          1. That sounds good, in theory, but in practice Samsung is bound by the same limitations with their flagship phones. The only difference is that Samsung MAY be willing to substitute parts, but I just don’t think they do that in their flagship phones.

            Though MDN likes to crap all over Samsung, those who deal in the technology end of consumer electronics know that they are known for their engineering and quality. If Samsung uses a chip or component, for example, then it is safe to say that others can confidently use it, because Samsung qualifies and tests so rigorously. Same for LG. In fact Apple uses components purchased from both companies for good reason.

            For the Samsung and LG’s there are two product development business models. The first one is similar (but not the same) to Apple’s in that they design, develop and produce in Korea. These products tend to be much higher quality. The other is the ODM or Original Design Manufacturer model in which they contract with ODMs in Taiwan, China and other countries to build products based on a specification. These products can be designed and developed quickly and cheaply because they are based on an ODM platform that can be customized for the brand. They tend to be lower in price and lower in quality. Not saying this is 100% true but if a Samsung or LG product is made in Korea, you can generally assume that it is of higher quality.

            Samsung sell phones in the hundreds of millions, as well. It is country dependent. Their supply chain is just as sophisticated and challenging as Apple’s.

    2. What if I told you that Apple was the original innovator for a touch screen based phone and that LG and Samsung were followers which means that Apple does not need competition and thievery to continue to innovate?

      1. Then you would be partially correct. If you consider the Handspring visor PDA with the phone Springboard module, that would actually be the first touch screen based (smart)phone, though the display was resistive and not capacitive like the iPhone which arrived years later.

  2. LG as Dishwasher company? Lucky started with chemicals, then Goldstar with radios, they merged into LG, and now make a varied set of electronics and appliances

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