Why it matters: LG’s announcement that it will be leaving the phone business has worried owners of its recent handsets, but there is some good news: the company has promised three years of Android updates for its premium devices launched in 2019 or later.
LG has been watching its share of the mobile market shrink during the last few years. The company was the world’s third-largest phone maker in 2013, but its slice of the pie has shrunk to around 2%. After six years of losing money—totaling approximately $4.5 billion—the company in January warned that exiting the business was a possibility. That scenario became a reality after Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Vietnam’s Vingroup JSC pulled out of negotiations for a buyout.
Companies leaving the phone business are often quick to end support for their handsets, but LG has pledged up to three iterations of Android updates for its premium devices released in 2019 or later. These are:
- LG G8 ThinQ
- LG G8x ThinQ
- LG G8s ThinQ
- LG V50 ThinQ
- LG V60 ThinQ
- LG Velvet
- LG Wing
In the case of the LG Velvet, for example, it launched with Android 10, so owners should receive updates right up until Android 13.
Additionally, some of LG’s recent non-premium phones will be getting the latest versions of Android. It names “certain 2020 models such as LG Stylo and K series” as devices set to receive two OS updates.
LG adds the caveat that these future updates will depend on Google’s distribution schedule and other factors such as device performance and compatibility.
LG expects to wind down its phone business on July 31. It will continue to manufacture devices throughout the second quarter, and people can still buy current LG handsets. Service support and security updates “will continue to be provided for a period of time” for these models.
Masthead image: Grzegorz Czapski