LG wants to rapidly shake up its smartphone lineup with rotating and rollable designs
Instead of competing directly against the likes of Samsung or Motorola with a prohibitively priced foldable device of its own, LG pursued a different strategy to try to enhance the versatility and expand the usable screen real estate of its conventional handsets while keeping costs in check.
Although the company doesn't seem ready to admit the failure of its Dual Screen cases and throw in the towel just yet, the search for "wow factors" capable of returning the tech giant's faltering mobile business to profitability continues. While unnecessarily and unexpectedly expensive, the beautiful 5G-enabled Velvet could mark the beginning of a new era for LG Mobile, which reportedly plans to set design trends going forward rather than following what others do or swimming against various currents.
The next big trend-setting move could see LG release a groundbreaking smartphone with two rotating displays as early as the second half of this year, according to a new Korean media report (translated here). Some of the details are a little hard to decipher due to the undoubtedly faulty machine translation, like the tentative "Horizontal Instinct" name of this highly unconventional product or its "horizontal entertainment terminal" inspiration from the early 2000s, but the general concept is as easy to understand as it is... weird.
2005's Sony Ericsson W600 was one chunky monkey
Basically, LG is purportedly considering building an Android handset with two screens, one of which would rotate horizontally and vertically to enhance "multimedia immersion and usability" for an entirely new mobile video playing and gaming experience. In other words, we're talking about a modern reimagining of something of a cross between a slider like the Samsung SGH-D500 and a less popular swivel like the Sony Ericsson W600.
It's not entirely clear what kind of demand a rotating smartphone could generate nowadays and how tricky mass-production will prove, but seeing as how LG is reportedly targeting a price point of around $800, we're guessing the company expects to encounter little to no manufacturing difficulties.
Meet the future as envisioned by TCL
The same is unlikely to be true for a rollable LG smartphone tipped to, well, roll out no later than the end of the first half of 2021 after a possible announcement at the Mobile World Congress in February.
This is essentially envisioned as the natural evolution of the foldable concept by many companies, including TCL, which recently showcased a fairly advanced prototype that still needs plenty of work before commercially materializing. It remains to be seen if LG will be able to pioneer the rollable segment after pretty much missing the foldable boat.
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