LG Electronics is reportedly planning to stop the development of the smartphone with a rollable display that the company showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 event. According to leading South Korean news agency Yonhap, LG has told its suppliers, including Chinese display maker BOE, to put the development of the LG Rollable project on hold; however, the exact reason for this remains unclear. The latest development comes amid speculations that LG would likely sell its mobile business due to continuing losses. As per market researcher Counterpoint Research, LG shipped 24.7 million smartphones last year, down 13 percent from a year earlier, and was the ninth-largest smartphone vendor with a global market share of 2 percent.
Meanwhile, LG has also issued an official statement to The Verge, denying the claims made by the Yonhap news report. A spokesperson told the publication, "I can firmly deny that any such decision on future mobile products has been finalised," indicating faint hope at LG Rollable's commercial launch. However, another LG spokesperson told Yonhap that nothing can be confirmed at this point regarding the company's plan for a rollable smartphone - indicating the uncertain future of the device.
As mentioned, the South Korean tech giant's mobile business has taken a nosedive in the last few years. It also receives stiff competition from domestic rival Samsung and other Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo. LG's mobile business has been in the red since the second quarter of 2015, Yonhap adds. Its accumulated operating loss reached nearly 5 trillion won (US$4.5 billion) last year.
To recall, the LG Rollable shown at CES 2021, has a 'unique resizable screen' that transforms the phone into a small tablet. Though it was showcased only as a concept device, the LG Rollable comes as the second device under the brand's Explorer Project. LG had said that the LG Rollable is an "exploratory" look at what the future of smartphones may bring. LG Wing was the first smartphone in the company's Explorer Project.