Folding phones like the Galaxy Z Flip may be cool and all, but what about a device that rolls up? A new report says that LG’s long-rumored rollable smartphone is on track for a 2021 release, and it’s even got a name — Project B.
That’s the word from The Elec, which reports that the phone —named after CEO Kwon Bong-seok — is already in production, with its first prototype allegedly available at LG's Pyeongtaek facility.
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The Project B phone reportedly won't feature an LG-developed display, however. Chinese manufacturer BOE appears to be handling these duties in tandem with LG to perfect the rollable display, which will allow users to extend the screen out at their leisure.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard about rollable phones from LG. IP Park, CTO and president of LG Electronics, told Tom’s Guide at CES 2019 that the company was working on both foldable and rollable phones. Indeed, Trademark filings from that year hinted that just such a device was in the works, and as recently as June, reports emerged that LG was at work on a device with a display that could roll and fold up. There’s also the matter of LG’s rollable OLED TV, which is showed off earlier this year; the Signature Series OLED TV R will hit the market with a hefty price tag of $60,000.
As for its rollable phone, LG has yet to showcase any sort of workable prototype, but essentially sizing this rollable display down for a phone will require more time in the oven — hence its projected early 2021 release date.
The company may be one of the first manufacturers with a viable release window for its rollable phone, but it isn't the first to reportedly have one in the works. Samsung was reported to have a rollable slider phone coming down the pipeline,. TCL has gone so far as to show off its own rollable phone concepts, including a tri-fold design that could unfurl from a 6.75-inch phone to a 7.8-inch tablet.
There's another phone from LG on the horizon as well: a device with a second swiveling display codenamed "Wing." It's said to include a main 6.8-inch display and a secondary 4-inch screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, according to ETNews.
Foldable phones have yet to really take off, even though the Galaxy Z Flip was the first foldable we’ve tested to really nail the concept. We’re interested to see if LG’s approach makes phones with adjustable screens any more useful to the public at large.