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New report plunges LG's rollable phone launch into further doubt (Updated)

Update: LG has responded to the report denying any plans to shelve its rollable phone.

Published onFebruary 23, 2021

  • LG’s rollable phone project has been put on hold, according to reports from Korea.
  • The report suggests the firm told its display supplier to halt the development of the scrollable display.
  • LG has denied the report.

Update: February 23, 2021 (12:43 AM ET): LG has issued an official statement to The Verge denying the below-mentioned report that it has shelved plans to launch its rollable phone.

“I can firmly deny that any such decision on future mobile products has been finalized,” an LG spokesperson told the publication.

Looks like there’s still some hope for the LG rollable phone in 2021 even though the statement is not conclusive. Let’s wait and watch what happens.

Original article: February 22, 2021 (04:02 AM ET):  LG was bullish about its rollable phone prospects earlier this year, but it’s looking more unlikely that it will make its official debut. Yonhap News now reports that the company allegedly told display supplier BOE and other suppliers to put the rollable phone development on hold. This plunges the launch of the rollable phone into further doubt.

The latest report also comes after suggestions that LG doesn’t have a concrete launch plan for the device. It also arrives after news that LG Electronics may offload its entire mobile phone division.

LG’s rollable phone was initially rumored to launch in March 2021. The phone is part of LG’s Explorer Project — a smartphone portfolio of novel form factors. This project also includes the LG Wing, a device that suggested the old, bold LG of the past was making its return.

Unlike the wacky Wing, the rollable phone concept seems a practical solution to giving users larger displays on demand. The design seemingly has all the folding display advantages with fewer disadvantages.

As demonstrated at CES 2021, the rollable phone in its standard mode takes the form and size of a traditional device. However, if the user needs more screen, the display scrolls out to an almost tablet-sized form factor. This means the device can keep a relatively thin frame, while there are no unsightly folds on the display itself.

If LG doesn’t launch its rollable phone, it won’t be due to cowardice. The LG Wing is unlike any other device available at present and is arguably more of a risk than a rollable phone. Notably, OPPO and Samsung Display are also working on rollable phones suggesting that there’s some merit to the form factor.

For LG, dropping its rollable phone project might be a financial decision, but it could be the device that gives LG that major breakthrough it needs.