LG now sets sights on vehicle parts, AI

Mumbai: Leaving its ill-fated mobile business behind, LG Electronics will zero in on bolstering promising sectors, like vehicle components, connected devices and artificial intelligence (AI), industry observers said on Monday, hoping that the segments will fill the hole left by its money-losing unit.

LG decided to pull out from the mobile phone business after years of dismal performance. Its mobile communications (MC) division has been in the red since the second quarter of 2015, and its accumulated operating losses reached 5 trillion won ($4.4 billion) last year.

Indeed, LG Electronics, which started in 1995, had been one of the top players in the global mobile phone sector, once becoming the world’s third-largest handset maker.

Analysts pointed out LG’s late entry to the smartphone market and its audacious approach led to the demise of its mobile business, reports said.

LG first entered the smartphone market in 2010 with Optimus after Apple paved the way with the iPhone in 2007.

The market share of LG smartphones has continued to decline after reaching about 4 percent in the second quarter of 2017, Lim Su-jeong, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, said.

“It has been below 2 per cent since the third quarter of 2019.” Sandwiched by Apple and Samsung in the premium segment, and Chinese players in the budget phone sector, LG has been striving to make a turnaround in its mobile business in recent years. To reduce costs, it shifted its smartphone production base to Vietnam while expanding outsourcing deals.


NT Bureau