This story was originally published and last updated .
Not too long ago, Reuters reported that LG was looking to outsource some of its smartphone business, particularly when it comes to low-end devices. Now a rumor has popped up that the company is looking to sell its smartphone business altogether, courtesy of Korean outlet TheElec. However, LG's global communicator Ken Hong confirmed to us that there's absolutely nothing to these rumors.
TheElec reported that LG delivered a message to its employees that it would announce the move by the end of the month, saying that workers should stop all developments except for the rollable phone which the company teased during CES.
— Nate Harris (@nwithan8) January 15, 2021
We reached out to LG's global communicator for consumer tech, Ken Hong, to hear if there was anything to the supposed leak, and this is all he said: "Completely false and without merit. I won't even justify that rumor with a statement." A denial couldn't be clearer, so you can consider that report to be all but debunked. LG Mobile's life's still good, to cite the company's motto.
The original TheElec article has since been taken down.
LG's life may not be as good as it was letting on. An internal memo from CEO Kwon Bong-seok, circulated by The Korea Herald, states that, "Regardless of any change in the direction of the smartphone business operation, the employment will be maintained, so there is no need to worry." In a statement to The Verge, LG confirmed that this memo was legitimate, showing that LG is indeed considering selling, withdrawing, and downsizing its smartphone business.
Nothing has been decided yet, but we'll be sure to keep you guys in the loop when we hear more.
The latest update in this LG saga comes from BusinessKorea, which is reporting that Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup Co. is currently the frontrunner in purchasing LG's smartphone business. Vingroup accounts for a whopping 15% of Vietnam's total market capitalization, and it's currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer in Vietnam (after Samsung and Oppo).
A major reason behind Vingroup's motivation to buy is reportedly LG's smartphone business in the US; as of 2020, LG Electronics had a 12.9% share of the North American smartphone market. It should be interesting to see how this story progresses.