South Korea’s Korea Economic Daily newspaper reported today that LG has laid off 30% of it’s mobile division overseas. The Korean paper cited an unnamed source but other reports started popping up across the internet at the same time. LG has had a rough two years but started a huge turn around after an executive shuffle last year. In addition, LG has seen some success with their Optimus line of Android devices however not quite the results they were looking for.
Reuters sought a comment directly from LG who of course said they don’t comment on market speculation.
LG is the third largest handset maker in the world (overall handsets not just smartphones) and they’ve reported losses over the past 5 consecutive quarters. While Samsung’s mobile division is said to be helping the company stay competitive, LG’s mobile division on the other hand is their biggest loser. Samsung and LG are both consumer electronics giants and both based in Korea.
More after the break
Industry analysts think that LG should have taken advantage of opportunities to sell the mobile phone business in the past. Industry analyst Harrison Cho with KB Investment & Securities thinks that LG has missed the boat, telling Reuters:
“Selling the loss-making business is probably what investors want,” Cho went on to say “But even with that option, LG wouldn’t get much from the sale. They should have sold it long ago before the overall landscape got tougher.”
LG has already cut their mobile forecast for 2011 by 20% to 24 million units. An LG founding family member Koo Bon-Joon, who took over as CEO of LG’s mobile division last October, is said to be shying away from feature phones which were LG Mobile’s bread and butter in previous years, and focusing entirely on smartphones, for the most part powered by Android.
LG’s latest Android smartphone to come ashore in the United States was the LG Optimus 3D, dubbed the LG Thrill here on AT&T. The device ran into delay after delay, finally releasing this past Sunday and only for $99. The LG Thrill features a dual channel OMAP 4 processor.