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LG "may scrap" its rollable smartphone

LG Rollable phone
(Image credit: LG)

The showstopping LG rollable smartphone – which was one of the highlights of CES 2021 when it was revealed last month – could be in trouble, with a new report stating that LG "may scrap" the ambitious device. 

The LG rollable smartphone was expected by many to challenge the best camera phones with its new form factor, but it appears that the manufacturer's embittered mobile division may not proceed with the project. 

Following in the footsteps of foldable handsets – such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr 5G – rollable smartphones have become a hotly anticipated new technology. And when LG built its CES 2021 presentation around a tease of its rollable phone, it seemed that we could expect more news about the device soon. 

Sadly, it isn't the good news we were hoping for – either for the phone in specific, or LG's mobile business as a whole. 

"LG Electronics Inc… may scrap a plan to develop a smartphone with a rollable display, industry observers here said Monday, amid growing speculation that the South Korean tech giant will ditch its money-losing mobile business," reports Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

"LG reportedly told its parts suppliers, including Chinese display maker BOE, to put the rollable smartphone development project on hold, according to industry sources. The parts makers may request compensation from LG in the future for their development efforts, they added."

According to Mobile World Live, LG's mobile division has been losing money since 2015 – with losses of $222.9 million in Q4 2020 alone. Following that earnings statement, LG confirmed the long-swirling rumors that it was reviewing the future of its mobile division – and that it may abandon the smartphone business altogether.

If this new report about the rollable phone (which many saw as key to LG's mobile future) is true, it could be a grim forecast for the future of all LG phones. 

Read more: 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Motorola Razr 5G

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. An Olympus (Micro Four Thirds) and Canon (full frame) shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a particular fondness for vintage lenses and film cameras.