LG Electronics will showcase a foldable smartphone exclusively to its business-to-business customers at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona next month.
“LG will showcase the foldable smartphone under development to its VIP customers at a private booth to be set up the MWC,” a source, who is familiar with the company’s mobile communications division, told The Korea Herald on Sunday.
The report claims that unlike its rivals in the smartphone business, LG hasn’t decided whether the company will publicly announce its progress on development of the foldable phone during Barcelona's event.
Kang In-byeong, chief technology officer of LG Display, a major supplier of display panels for LG Electronics, told The Korea Herald at CES 2019 that the company was ready to provide panels for the foldable phone, but that it hadn’t yet been decided when commercialization would take place.
So far, it’s been confirmed that LG will introduce the eighth edition of its flagship G-series smartphone (G8).
Industry forecasts say that LG is also planning to showcase what is called a “dual display” smartphone, which is featuring a second display screen on the rear side. LG’s foldable model will differ from the “dual display” phone, and will fold outward instead of inward -- unlike Samsung Electronics’ inward-bending phone.
“When folded in half, the LG foldable phone is larger than Samsung’s 4.58-inch phone, a differentiation point that would meet users’ needs for a bigger screen both when folded and unfolded,” the report said.
Rival Samsung Electronics held a private showcase of its foldable phone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The company will unveil its 10th-anniversary Galaxy phones together with its foldable phone in San Francisco on Feb. 20, five days ahead of the congress.
“Except for the new G-series phone -- which could be called the G8 -- what models will be unveiled at the show next month has not been finalized yet,” an LG representative said.
Previous reports claimed that LG Electronics has decided to work with Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo in foldable smartphone devices rather that releasing an LG-branded foldable smartphone, at least for now.
Huawei is also planning to present its own foldable phone in Barcelona. Motorola is also coming up with a foldable model, according to news reports.