LG may be closing its phone business, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re waiting for an Android 12 update – assuming that Google’s launch schedule coincides with LG’s closure plans. Announced Sunday night, the South Korean company gave in to years of pressure – and an almost equal period of speculation – and confirmed that it would move out of the smartphone business to focus on other, more profitable fields.
It was undoubtedly a delayed change. LG’s other business divisions had a reasonably positive result in 2020, confirmed the company’s latest financial results, including strong sales in monitors and appliances. Smartphones, however, were the backbone of finance, with LG struggling to keep up with Apple and Samsung as their market share declined.
On July 31, LG’s mobile division will be closed, the company said yesterday. It will continue to sell through remaining shares in its various markets, but there will be no new phones. Of course, this also leaves a sizable group of people who have recent LG devices and who are probably wondering when – or if – they will see the updates.
At the English launch of LG, he confirmed that he would have software and updates for some existing models, although that varied by market. Its support page in South Korea went further, XDA developers found out, discussing realistic expectations for hardware and software.
LG will observe the warranty and after-sales responsibilities established by each jurisdiction, the company says, and will do its utmost to supply spare parts as stock remains. However, this will obviously get more complicated over time, as will finding official accessories.
On the software side, LG is still working on an update from Android 12 to its latest phones. This will depend, to some extent, on Google’s own distribution schedule and the performance of the software on individual devices. This could mean that some phones end up not receiving Android 12, if LG decides that the effort required would be too great.
As for other applications and services, if you are an LG Q Memo user, you should be able to export your notes to another service. LG Health, however, seems less easy to transfer and, at the moment, there is no official way to extract any data from there. There is also a warning that other LG apps may end or simply start to lose functionality over time, although the company says it will try to warn users before that.
LG is not the first to decide how best to support existing customers when closing a smartphone company. However, it is arguably the biggest in recent memory to do this: smaller ventures, like Essential and Nextbit, had a much smaller audience of users to keep happy. LG’s reputation for timely software updates has not been, it is fair to say, the highest over time making Android devices. Existing owners are unlikely to have high hopes of receiving much software support, now that the company has made its intentions regarding mobile devices very clear.