At CES 2016, LG showcased a prototype 18-inch OLED display that could be rolled up like a newspaper. A couple of years down the line, the company showed off a 65-inch 4K TV prototype with a similar display that could roll up to hide the TV from view. The rollable TV finally went on sale earlier this month, and while we’re yet to see one in the wild, the company is now working to bring the rollable OLED technology to a smartphone.
As per a recent report from South Korean publication TheElec, LG Electronics will launch a smartphone with a rollable display next year. The smartphone, codenamed Project B, will be the second device in the company’s new Explorer Project. For the unaware, the Explorer Project is “both an initiative and a category [which] will include devices that deliver distinctive and yet unexplored usability experiences.” The recently launched LG Wing, which features a swiveling main display, was the first smartphone launched as part of the Explorer Project.
Rumors about this rollable smartphone have been around for a while now. A separate report from TheElec from earlier this year in June reveals that LG has already started producing the prototype at its factory in Pyeongtaek. The smartphone has been named Project B after the company’s CEO Kwon Bong-seok. LG is expected to unveil the device in March next year. While details about the rollable smartphone are still scarce, it’s worth noting that LG itself teased the upcoming smartphone during the LG Wing launch. In case you missed it, you can catch a glimpse of Project B and its rolling mechanism at 32:33 in the video embedded below.
Along with Project B, LG is also working on a full-fledged flagship smartphone for 2021. According to industry sources, the flagship smartphone, codenamed Rainbow, will be launched in the first quarter of 2021. The device will reportedly be at par with LG’s last V series device, the LG V60 ThinQ, in terms of specifications. Since the V60 ThinQ packed in a Snapdragon 865 chip, the upcoming LG Rainbow will likely feature the yet unannounced Snapdragon 875 SoC. While this goes against the company’s current strategy of focusing on mass-premium and mass-tier 5G products, I have my hopes up after seeing the LG Wing.