Earlier today, it was reported that LG was contemplating an exit from the smartphone industry, thanks to the dwindling shipment figures over the years and a long spell of losses. Now, another report coming out of South Korea suggests that the company has also pulled the plugs on making smartphone LCD panels, a large chunk of which was once destined for iPhones before Apple finally went all-in on OLED panels. Interestingly, LG reportedly stopped the production of LCD panels at one of its key assembly lines back in the third quarter of 2020.
“LG Display has halted production of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for iPhones, TheElec has learned. The factory that previously made the panels will be converted to making automobile display panels. LG Display halted iPhone LCD production at its AP3 line at Gumi in the third quarter. The line also stopped making panels for other phones as well in the fourth quarter,” says a report by TheElec.
The primary reason for LG shutting down the production of LCD panels is low profitability. And with a cash-rich client like Apple switching over to OLED panels, the company apparently had a bleak financial outlook regarding LCD production moving ahead. With LG Display leaving the field, JDI and Sharp will reportedly fill the void in Apple’s supply chain. LG will now focus its effort on producing larger panels for automobiles instead of smartphones.
The Korea Herald reported earlier today that LG CEO Kwon Bong has sent an internal memo hinting at a “major change” in how the company’s smartphone business operates. On the other hand, a spokesperson noted that the company is exploring all options on the table, which range from downsizing the phone business to even selling it. Lately, has gone the outsourcing path for making its low-end smartphones, while its in-house team is currently focusing on high-end phones as well as innovative devices under the Explorer Project initiative which has resulted in the LG Wing and will soon come up with a rollable phone as well.