LG confirms foldable phone plans, claims it doesn’t care about being first

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  • LG has confirmed it is working on a foldable phone.
  • The company is unlikely to be the first to release one, however.
  • LG is one of the largest producers of smartphone displays, so could be well placed to produce foldable panels.

LG Mobile CEO Hwang Jeong-hwan has confirmed the company is working on a foldable phone. Speaking at the press conference for the release of the LG V40 ThinQ (via Yonhap), Hwang explained that LG is working with its partners to prepare the phone.

However, it seems unlikely that LG will release the phone any time soon. In the same statement, the CEO said the company isn’t focused on being the first company to release a foldable device. Instead, it will wait until it has a product that provides value to customers, the CEO claimed. This could be a genuine decision or it could be a case of LG knowing it’s late to the foldable phone race.

While we have seen patents detailing LG foldable phones before, this is the first time we have heard directly from the company about its plans for such a device.

LG’s history with flexible panels

LG is one of the largest suppliers of smartphone display panels, which could make it well-placed to produce a display for a foldable phone. It has been mass producing flexible displays for smartphones since 2013 and earlier this year it announced plans to increase its production of POLED flexible displays.

In 2013, the company released the LG G Flex. which had a curved, flexible display and self-healing back. This was followed by the G Flex 2 in 2015, offering the same fundamental design.

Editor’s Pick

Currently, Samsung and Huawei appear to be closest to releasing a foldable device. The latest rumors suggest that Samsung will soon be able to mass-produce foldable panels and there are even hints that it could unveil the phone at its developer conference next month. Huawei, meanwhile, is reportedly doing everything it can to beat Samsung to the punch.

LG, however, may be making a good decision by holding off until it has a better idea of the market. While Samsung has repeatedly stated that its foldable phone will deliver a unique and useful user experience, realistically, there is still no way of knowing how the market will respond to such a device.

Next up: Five ways foldable displays could change the game

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