After two decades of making mobiles, LG is winding down its phones business by the end of July 2021.
In an industry dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung, plus new challenger brands offering high-spec phones for less, LG has struggled to find its place in recent years.
According to an official statement, the brand is intending to redirect its focus to 'growth areas', including electric vehicle components, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and the development of 6G.
Read on to find out what this means for you, whether you own an LG phone already or had one on your shortlist.
Most likely yes. LG's initial statement was vague, promising updates for 'a period of time which will vary by region', although today it announced more concrete update periods.
If you own a premium phone released from 2019 onwards - including any from the G series, V series, Velvet or Wing - you will receive three years of security updates.
For cheaper models released from 2020 (the K series and Stylo), you're looking at two years before your phone is no longer updated.
LG has promised that it will offer the latest OS for every year of updates. That means if your LG phone is currently on Android 10, you could end up seeing it reach Android 13 if it's a premium model, or 12 if it's a mid-range device.
Security updates can be a thorny issue, and brands aren't exactly forthcoming on when their phones will run out of support. Until this week, LG was one of the worst.
Unlike most other brands, it doesn't have a page on its website that states which phones are still receiving security updates. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for customers to know when is the best time to trade in their handset for a newer model.
Following LG's announcement this week, eagle-eyed developers found a mention on its Korean site of 'selected models' getting an OS upgrade to Android 12. We don't know when this will be though, or if it even applies to any UK phones.
The latest Android Operating System will give you access to improved usability and fancy new features, but security updates are also important, with brands often continuing to roll them out for phones on older operating systems.
Over time, bugs may be detected in your phone's software. Smartphone brands stay on top of these, sending out patches to fix them, but after your phone stops receiving updates it can no longer shore itself up against these vulnerabilities. In a worst case scenario, a hacker could get into your phone and access your personal information
Although these security updates are vital for using your phone safely, some brands only support their handsets for two years after they launch. A lack of regulation in the industry means that brands don't have to be transparent with consumers, either.
We believe this has to change, and that brands should do more to support customers, and reduce the impact on the second-hand market and e-waste implications of short-lived phones. Which? is calling for:
LG will still be selling new phones until the middle of this year, and now the news is out, there are likely to be some tempting prices on handsets, too.
It does have a disclaimer that 'future updates will depend on Google's distribution schedule as well as other factors such as device performance and compatibility', so there are no absolute guarantees, whichever phone you pick.