LG struggles to sell its smartphone unit — rollable phone reportedly scrapped

LG Wing review
(Image credit: Future)

The LG Wing and its rollable smartphones are arguably the most innovative devices we've seen in recent years, but unfortunately, the average consumer just couldn't get on board with the company's funky, offbeat phones. 

LG is not only struggling to woo the general public, but it's also having difficulties attracting potential bidders. According to Korea Times, LG was in talks with a Vietnamese conglomerate to sell its phone business, but nothing came of it due to a price-negotiation clash (via AndroidCentral).

Bidder backs out of LG phone division sale

LG's smartphone business caught the eye of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup. Perhaps it saw some value in LG's phone division initially, but at its current asking price, Vingroup is backing out.

"LG had been negotiating with Vingroup to sell its smartphone-manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Brazil, however, the discussions recently collapsed mostly due to the price difference," a high-ranking industry official familiar with the matter reportedly told Korea Times.

For the time being, employees working at LG's smartphone unit will be reallocated to other departments. The smartphone production lines in Vietnam and Brazil will reportedly be repurposed for manufacturing home appliances. "With Vingroup offering a lower price than expected, LG will move on to find another buyer," the official added.

With LG struggling to negotiate a satisfactory sale of its smartphone unit, many are wondering about the fate of the LG's rollable phone. Korea Times alleges that the highly publicized device has been scrapped, which conflicts with The Verge's report that the tech oddity "has not been put on hold." 

“I can firmly deny that any such decision on future mobile products has been finalized,” an LG spokesperson told The Verge. However, The Verge concedes that the LG spokesperson simply wanted to clarify that no definitive decision about LG's rollable device has been made, which means that it could still be on the chopping block.

The Verge insinuated that it's wary about putting too much stock in LG's official statements. In January, Korean outlet TheElec exposed LG's plans to sell its smartphone unit, but LG denied these claims, causing TheElec to delete the article. By late January, LG issued a memo announcing that it is, indeed, exiting the smartphone market.

As a big fan of the Wing, I hope that LG's rollable device survives through this company's tumultuous time. Who knows? It might be the first flexible device that wins the public's hearts.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!