So far, 2020 is a rough year for smartphone manufacturers as the COVID-19 pandemic affects both sales and production. Nevertheless, when it comes to innovation, Samsung, Huawei and Motorola seem to be ahead of the rest as they continue to develop their respective devices with flexible screens. Meanwhile, given that LG is renowned for its advanced display platforms, analysts wonder why it has not introduced its own foldable handset. It looks like the company might have something different to offer by 2021 with the help of BOE.

Tech pundits are reportedly surprised after supply chain insiders pointed out an unexpected move from the South Korean consumer electronics group. Instead of sourcing the rollable display of its rumoured Project B smartphone from its own subsidiary LG Display, GSMArena claims it will be commissioning these components from BOE Technology. In fact, engineers are already working on a prototype.

LG's Pyeongtaek factory is currently overseeing the development of about 1,000 to 2,000 prototypes. Experts who are familiar with the process reveal that it is still in the early stages and would be a while before the design and features are finalised and submitted for approval from executives. Last year in August, a patent filed by the company was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as well as by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).

Unlike most foldable smartphone models available right now, Project B features a flexible display that can wrap around its body inward and outward. This eliminates the need for a hinge mechanism that would eventually damage the integrity of the substrate covering the sensitive components of the panel. Much like HTC, LG has been left behind by its competitors over the past few years. Its latest model, the mid-range Velvet flaunted a traditional bar form factor, but failed to meet sales expectations.

LG Velvet launches in South Korea
LG seems to be gunning for Samsung's versatile Note series as it equips the Velvet with digitizer that is compatible with Wacom's stylus technology. Photo: LG

Aside from the Project B model, LG is supposedly releasing another bar-type handset in 2021. Internal documents refer to it as "Rainbow" but other details were not available. On the other hand, a smartphone with the codename "Wing" is purportedly slated to launch later this year. What's unique about it is the default horizontal presentation of its interface.