LG wrapped up its CES 2021 presentation with someone holding a phone with a screen that slowly collapses on itself. Once the movement is done, the device’s display cuts to black, and the text “More to Explore” pops up above the phone’s name “LG Rollable” in white. This all occurs in a 10-second sequence before the broadcast ends.
“Our management wanted to show that it is a real product, as there were many rumors around the rollable phone,” says an LG spokesperson in a statement to Nikkei. “As it is released at CES 2021, I can tell that it will be launched this year.” Nikkei also reports that LG is working with China’s BOE Technology Group on the rollable screen technology. LG has not yet confirmed what display tech the Rollable is using, or any details on the different display sizes.
The LG Rollable looks like every other smartphone: rectangular and flat. However, there’s one key difference that sets the LG Rollable apart: Like the company’s LG Rollable TVs, the phone has a screen that expands and collapses, extending the display area by elongating the screen. The phone would be the first such device to hit the market, marking another step in the evolution of phone design beyond even the foldable phones that have come out over the last two years. After years of pushing the same metal box design, the phone industry has been keen to experiment with different shapes and concepts to spark some excitement again. The Korean company will release the phone later this year, according to people familiar with LG‘s plans.
While this is the first official look at the device, it isn’t the first tease of it. The company had shared a short clip of the phone from a side view expanding out and sliding back into itself in September 2020. Very little information about the device was known then, and the same is true now.