LG Electronics is planning to launch a rollable smartphone early next year and the project is called B Project, sources within the company told TheElec.
The company has begun production for the prototype of the device at its factory in Pyeongtaek. Most commercial products goes to three to four trial production beforehand. Around a thousand to two thousand units are produced per one trial production session.
LG’s mobile business have posted 20 straight quarters of loss so far. B Project is being commenced to reestablish its brand image to consumers and boost morale at the business, the sources said.
The project is named after the B in the name of company CEO Kwon Bong-seok. The company’s latest flagship smartphone Velvet was codenamed Cayman after the Cayman Islands. The codename for its “horizontal” smartphone launching in the second half of the year is Wing.
The flagship phone to be launched in the first half of 2021 is codenamed Rainbow.
B Project will have the smartphone extend side ways when needed. It is called rollable as the display rolled at the sides will unroll. A flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) is need to achieve this.
Chinese display maker BOE is co-developing the display panel needed with LG Electronics.
A rollable display isn’t necessarily more difficult to achieve than foldable ones __ foldable displays need to withstand consistent pressure at a small area, but rollable displays can dissipate the pressure to a wider area, the sources said.
However, design and materials used for the device must support the display panel, they added.
LG has one line remaining at its Pyeontaek handset factory after shifting most of them to Vietnam.
Meanwhile, LG said last year that it will expand the use of original design manufacturers for its low- to mid-tier smartphones. The company’s mobile business posted 237.8 billion won in operating loss and 998.6 billion won in revenue in the first quarter of the year.