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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (opens in new tab) and Motorola Razr 5G (opens in new tab) – rollable smartphones have become a hotly anticipated new technology. And when LG built its CES 2021 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).
"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 (opens in new tab) 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.