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April 5, 2021, 11:02 a.m. EDT

LG calls it quits on smartphones; will halt production, sales by July 31

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By Kwanwoo Jun in Singapore, and Timothy W. Martin in Seoul

LG Electronics Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -0.10% will exit its unprofitable smartphone business after years of struggling to compete with industry leaders Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.14% and Samsung Electronics Co. /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 0.00% , as well as fast-growing Chinese rivals.

It wasn’t an unexpected move, following years of speculation about a pullback and after Chief Executive Kwon Bong-seok declared in January that all options were under consideration regarding the mobile division’s fate.

The Seoul-based firm, following a unanimous board vote Monday, said it would halt mobile phone production and sales by July 31. LG had once been the world’s third-largest phone maker by shipments and remains the biggest U.S. vendor after Apple and Samsung.

But LG’s overall phone business has withered in the past six years or so. It has been in the red for 23 straight quarters, with the accumulated losses exceeding $4.4 billion.

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com.

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