While speaking at a news conference regarding the launch of the V40 ThinQ -- read the HotHardware review here -- LG Mobile CEO Hwang Jeong-hwan confirmed that the company is working to deliver a folding smartphone to the public. LG would join companies like Samsung and Huawei which are both rushing to bring the first such product to market. However, LG says that it is in no rush to be the first -- instead, it wants to make sure that it has a kickass phone that customers will embrace.
"We will release it at a time when we can provide enough customer value rather than releasing it for the first time in the world," said Hwang. He added that LG is working with is partners to avoid "various obstacles" that could hinder the development of a folding smartphone.
LG has already made a big name for itself in the world of smartphone displays, where it produces both LCD and OLED panels for a number of OEMs. The company definitely has the expertise in the area of folding panels, but it remains to be seen if such devices will result in a blossoming new niche for the mobile market.
All signs are pointing towards the first folding smartphones being extremely expensive due to their [reported] limited availability and high component costs. The alleged Samsung Galaxy X (or Galaxy F depending on the source) could cost as much as $2,000, which is twice the cost of flagships like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung has confirmed that its folding Galaxy flagship will debut before the end of 2018, while Huawei is working hard to unveil its offering even sooner. LG says that its folding smartphone could eventually become a PC replacement.
“Why are you still using a computer?” said Huawei CEO Richard Yu last month. “Probably because the smartphone display is too small for you. We will change that [with a] display that can be folded out.”