The LG Rollable and Explorer Project may be cancelled even with the sale of LG's smartphone business
It has been an odd few weeks for LG's smartphone business in the media. In December, Reuters claimed that the South Korean company planned to outscore the production all but high-end smartphones in an attempt to turn a profit. Then, LG got people talking again with Rollable teasers, which it subsequently stated would be released this year.
Confusingly, a few days later TheElec ran a story claiming that LG planned to sell its entire smartphone business. The South Korean outlet swiftly removed its story that LG's global communicator for consumer technology, Ken Hong, dismissed without merit. However, an internal memo circulated by LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok contradicted Hong and claimed that the company was considering selling, downsizing and withdrawing from the smartphone business.
Now, Business Korea reports that the Vietnamese Vingroup has offered to buy LG's smartphone business. The Vingroup, for context, already acts as an ODM for LG, producing many of its smartphones. Apparently, the Vingroup would control LG's manufacturing facilities with LG retaining a smaller R&D team. Seemingly then, LG would continue to design and release smartphones but the Vingroup would produce them.
The Korea Herald claims that the Rollable release is not secured though, even if the Vingroup invests in LG. According to the website, LG has confirmed that it continues to develop the Rollable, albeit without a detailed plan for its launch. Supposedly, LG is 'open to every possibility' with the Rollable, including not releasing it at all. If that is the case, this would see scrapping the Explorer Project after one smartphone. This seems unlikely, but we doubt that LG will ever announce that it has ceased the project. Either way, LG's smartphone business appears to be hanging in the balance, currently.