SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea's LG Electronics will close down its unprofitable mobile division after being unable to find a buyer.
Closing the division would make LG the first major brand to withdraw from the mobile phone business.
LG holds 10 percent of the mobile phone market in the United States. It is expected that Samsung and Apple will seek to grab the former LG customers.
"In the United States, LG has targeted mid-priced - if not ultra-low - models, and that means Samsung, which has more mid-priced product lines than Apple will be better able to attract LG users," said Ko Eui-young, an analyst at Hi Investment and Securities, as reported by Reuters.
LG's smartphone division has lost some $4.5 billion in six years. Leaving the smartphone business is expected to allow LG to pursue electric vehicle components, connected devices and smart homes, the company said in a statement.
In 2013, LG was the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer.
However, its market share declined after a series of software and hardware problems, along with slower software updates.
Officials noted that LG's global share is only about 2 percent, having shipped 23 million phones last year, as opposed to 256 million for Samsung.
In addition to North America, it does have a large presence in Latin America, where it ranks as the No. 5 brand.
It is expected that in South Korea LG smartphone employees will be moved to other LG businesses.
For the time being, LG plans to provide service support and software updates for customers.