The week’s biggest and perhaps saddest news for the mobile industry is LG’s acceptance of defeat in the smartphone rat race. In addition to questions about its future software support for existing phones, however, there may have also been thoughts about the phones that would have made it to stores in what is now an alternate reality. At the top of that list is, of course, what would have been the world’s first commercial rollable phone but both the LG Rollable and a “normal” LG V70, a.k.a. the LG Rainbow have now appeared in real-world photos to show what could have been.
Truth be told, these photos from @FrontTron aren’t exactly exciting nor revealing. In context, it almost seems insulting to see these phones as they would have launched now that we know they’re never coming. That said, they also give a glimpse of part of LG’s unending smartphone problem.
The LG Rollable was already shown off earlier this year, of course, and this is just confirmation of what it would look like in real life. That it passed by South Korea’s certification agency reveals just how close it was to actually become a commercial product. Unfortunately, it takes more than regulatory approval to sell a phone and LG was reportedly unable to convince buyers to bet on the rollable phone.
The origin of the photo of the LG Rainbow, a.k.a. LG V70, is still a mystery but its design isn’t. It looks a lot like the LG Velvet before it and, if earlier rumors are true, it wouldn’t stray far from mid-range specs either. That would have probably made it yet another flop in LG’s book, further sinking its revenues or rather the lack of it.
The LG Rollable and LG Rainbow show LG’s best and worst, the company’s spirit of daring innovation and its tendency to play it safe. Unfortunately, neither strategy has worked for it in the past years and these photos, and probably prototypes that will soon leak out, will be all that we’ll be able to see of what could have been LG mobile’s future.