LG once made the first flexible phones, but today it’s turning down the chance to jump on and ride the foldables wave.
While LG did launch a phone with a dual-screen display, it ducked out of the foldable rat-race — already making its intentions clear prior to MWC.
In comments reported by the Korea Times (via The Verge) LG said:
During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, LG introduced a rollable TV. This is an advanced technology one step ahead of foldable technology. We have reviewed releasing the foldable smartphone when launching 5G smartphone but decided not to produce it,.
The market demand for smartphones is expected to be at around 1 million but LG’s main issue in smartphone business is to regain its market position. Considering this situation, it is too early for LG to launch a foldable smartphone. In terms of technology, we are fully ready to respond depending on consumers’ reactions (to foldable smartphones).
OnePlus CEO Pete Law expressed similar sentiments today to CNET, saying: “With this technology, costs are high. But the value to the end user doesn’t seem to correlate.”
He does have a point. While foldables are amazing technical achievements, their utility still remains dubious at this point. Granted, use cases for these things tend not to emerge under further down the line like with iPhone style smartphones. On the other hand, the hype may merely predate a crash like with iPad style tablets, or simply become the fertilizer for an entirely new product we haven’t even seen yet.