Update, Feb 23 (7:00 am ET): LG 'firmly denies' reports of its rollable phone project being put on hold.
What you need to know
- A new report out of South Korea claims LG's Rollable phone project is being scrapped.
- The phone was teased by the company at its virtual CES 2021 press conference last month.
- Analysts believe LG is likely to either sell or shut down its smartphone business this year.
At its CES 2021 press conference last month, LG teased its second Project Explorer device, called the Rollable. While the phone was expected to go on sale sometime in the second half of the year, a new report suggests the LG Rollable may never see the light of day.
According to Yonhap News, LG has asked its suppliers, including display maker BOE, to put the project on hold. Industry observers say LG may scrap the rollable phone project altogether, although the company hasn't confirmed anything officially yet.
The latest report is far from shocking, however, as LG officially hinted at an exit from the smartphone business a few weeks back. Some reports suggest the company is considering a sale of the business, and it may have already found a buyer in Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup.
While there are no details available yet on exactly why LG has decided to scrap the device, industry insiders speculate that the "pace of LG's rollable smartphone development could have been more sluggish than expected and that the company may have felt pressure delivering successful results with the product in the market."
Data released by Counterpoint Research recently revealed that LG could ship only 24.7 million smartphones in 2020, down 13% from 2019. The company's smartphone business hasn't posted a profit since Q2 2015 and the accumulated operating loss surpassed KRW 5 trillion ($4.5 billion) last year.
Update, Feb 23 (7:00am ET) ― LG says the Rollable phone project has not been put on hold
In a statement sent to The Verge, an LG spokesperson has denied the report from Yonhap News and claimed that no such decision has been finalized. However, by saying that a final decision is yet to be made, the company's official response seems to suggest the report isn't completely off the mark.