Google reportedly wants LG to build bendable OLED displays for next Pixel phone


Google PIxel
Google PIxel

Image: Kate Sommers-Daves/Mashable

Google’s next Pixel phone might have a curved display, and the company wants LG to make it, a new report claims. 

According to South Korea’s ETNews (via ZDNET), Google wants to invest 1 trillion won (about $875.2 million) into LG’s display making arm, LG Display, which would enable it to produce enough flexible OLED panels for Google’s needs. 

The talks between the two companies are ongoing, report claims, and the size of the investment may increase in the future. LG Display would use the capital to start a new production line for bendable OLED panels, and the first Pixel phones coming out of there should arrive in the second half of 2017. 

The report has no details about the actual panels or Google’s upcoming phones. 

The original Pixel phones have OLED screens, but not of the curvy variety, as seen in Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 and (probably) in Apple’s upcoming iPhone

With Apple reportedly switching to OLED for at least some of its upcoming iPhones — a recent report said the company already ordered 70 million bendable OLED panels from Samsung — the race to build enough OLED panels for smartphones intensifies. Samsung Display currently dominates the smartphone OLED market with a 99 percent market share as of August 2016. LG produces OLED displays for Apple’s Watch, but the company currently does not make OLED panels for smartphones at a large volume. 

The report also claims LG Display and Google are working on building a foldable display, though there’s no timeline for that. 

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