The South Korean giant LG announced on Monday that it will exit the "highly competitive" smartphone sector by closing its smartphone unit, marking the end of an era for a company that was once one of the first in the smartphone industry.
Its decision underscores how difficult it is to compete with industry giants such as Samsung and Apple, especially in the United States, which is the third largest smartphone market.
LG was among the top 5 smartphone makers.
But it failed to hold, as Samsung and Apple dominated the US market, and companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi took their market share outside America.
Together, Apple and Samsung represent 81% of the smartphone market in the United States, with Apple accounting for 65% and Samsung 16%, according to Counterpoint Research statistics in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, LG ranked third, with only 9% of the market, and Samsung and Apple were the only two smartphone companies to show growth in the US during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Globally, Apple ranked first in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 23.4% of the market, while Samsung ranked second with 19.1%, according to International Data Corp.
Galaxy S3 Black Horse
Samsung and LG are longtime rivals in the electronics and home appliance industries, but there is one important feature that LG lacks when it comes to smartphones.
Samsung established its phones' reputation as the primary competitor to iPhones when the smartphone market was still young in 2012. It had achieved great success at that time with its Galaxy S3, which outperformed the iPhone 4S to become the phone. Bestseller smartphone of 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.
The successful launch of the Galaxy S3 helped shape the story that the smartphone market had become a race between two horses, Apple and Samsung.
The Galaxy S series has put Samsung on the map, making it the main competitor to the iPhone for years to come (Reuters)
The headlines of major newspapers such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair and The Guardian have spoken of the two tech giants as the winners, which has become the biggest shift in the field in recent history.
No Android phone maker had anything close to the popularity of the Galaxy S3 at the time.
The Galaxy S series has put Samsung on the map, making it the main competitor to the iPhone for years to come.
Other Android phone makers simply couldn't keep up, despite being more creative in some ways.
For example, technology pundits praised HTC in 2013 for its eye-catching One M7 that outperformed every Android phone in the market in terms of design quality.
But it had no sales to match that reputation, and HTC sold a large portion of its smartphone business to Google in 2018.
Even Google, which updates Android, has had a hard time breaking into the smartphone business.
It has switched to selling less expensive Pixel smartphones after it ran into trouble selling high-end phones designed to compete with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S.
LG has taken a similar path.
It was ahead of competitors in some respects, such as its decision to bring cameras with a wider field of view to its smartphones years before Apple and Samsung did so.
But the smartphone division incurred losses totaling $ 4.5 billion over 6 years, leading to the decision to close the unit after Bloomberg reported that the electronics maker had failed to find a buyer.
Instead, LG will focus on areas such as smart home appliances, electric vehicle components, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Popular Chinese brands with affordable prices LG are taking market share (Getty Images)
Of course, the success of Samsung and Apple is one of the factors that affected the mobile phone market, and despite the importance of this factor, the data from Gartner, which specializes in market statistics provided, indicated that the famous Chinese brands that were distinguished by their affordable prices, such as Huawei and Xiaomi And Oppo and OnePlus, also rose in popularity at a time when LG's market share began to slide, starting in 2015.
Despite this Chinese competition, Samsung and Apple have comfortably been at the forefront of the smartphone market for years, and LG has fallen victim to this competition after Google and Microsoft.