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October 31, 2018

A foldable smartphone at CES 2019? Anything is possible, says LG

by John_A

Foldable smartphones may become one of the standout mobile trends of 2019, with several manufacturers officially stating they’re working on such devices for the coming year. While LG is not one of them, a rumor indicates it has no intention of missing out. The company will apparently show a foldable smartphone during a presentation at next year’s CES technology show in Las Vegas, says mobile leaker Evan Blass.

In a tweet he says he cannot speak for Samsung, which has already confirmed it will release a foldable phone in the future, “But I do know that LG plans to unveil a foldable phone at its 2019 CES keynote.” While he provides no further details on the device itself, or whether this will simply be a tech showcase, rather than a product we’ll be able to buy; LG has long been at the forefront of flexible screen technology, validating the rumor to a certain extent.

Digital Trends spoke to Ken Hong, LG’s head of global corporate communications, to get an official response. He said “LG’s policy is not to comment on rumors and speculation,” but when pushed on the subject, he hesitated and added, “Anything is possible at CES.”

Technical know-how

Patents for folding phones have been seen from LG for several years, we’ve covered leaks stating the company would have a foldable device in 2017, and before all that, it pioneered the flexible screen with smartphones such as the G Flex and G Flex 2. It also reportedly spent $1 billion on a factory in South Korea dedicated to making flexible screens, all of which adds up to not only experience, but also the ability and interest to make folding smartphones a reality.

While, “anything is possible,” at CES, does that mean it’s likely? LG is not saying anything at all on the subject, and although Samsung and Huawei have confirmed folding smartphone plans; neither have stated anything about when they will launch outside of some time in 2019. Huawei has linked its folding smartphone with 5G, indicating it may not arrive until a 5G network launches — a date which is equally unknown. Microsoft is also rumored to be examining a foldable device design.

CES 2019 begins on January 8, 2019, and we’ll keep you up to date with LG’s foldable smartphone news and rumors right here.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Huawei is working on a 5G foldable phone, the Mate 20 X may be its template
  • Samsung Galaxy X: Everything we know so far
  • Samsung Galaxy S10: Here’s everything we know
  • A ThinkPad tablet with a foldable screen could be in Lenovo’s future
  • 5G may spur the return of smartphones locked to specific carriers

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