Google possibly wants to make sure that its next Pixel phones do not get delayed due to supply constraints on flexible OLED screens. To ensure this, the search engine giant has decided to invest at least 1 trillion won ($880.29 million) to boost LG Display’s output of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for smartphones, according to the Electronic Times.
No confirmation from LG yet
Further, there are reports that the investment could increase eventually. LG, however, is “carefully considering” the proposal and has yet to release any official confirmation on it. For now, both the Pixel and Pixel XL use AMOLED displays supplied by Samsung and have a slight 2.5D curvature on the edges of the Gorilla Glass, notes 9to5Google.
There is no specification on what kind of curved screen Google is looking for according to the report. At present, LG manufactures and supplies small, flexible OLED panels for the Apple Watch and LG Electronics’ watches and is short on the capacity needed to produce large displays for smartphones. According to ZDNet, two additional lines will start production in the second half of this year and next year.
Google’s interest in curved screens does not come as a surprise. Many smartphone makers are already showing a liking for the technology. Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 is already fitted with a curved screen, and if rumors are to be believed, Apple also entered into a deal with Samsung to manufacture 70 million OLED screens for the upcoming iPhone.
Google may not have many places to go if LG rejects the proposal because it is not yet clear if Samsung will be able to deliver for Google as well after reportedly signing the deal with Apple. Japan Display Inc. already stated in January that it will not produce flexible OLEDs until 2018, notes The Next Web. The search giant released the Pixel phone with OLED display last year, but it has faced issues in securing the displays.
What to expect in the Google Pixel 2?
The Google Pixel 2 is expected to arrive in October with a camera which will not have a large megapixel size but will have extra features adding to the quality of the camera. Although there is not much information on the next Pixel phone, according to rumors, Google is likely to slip in a Snapdragon 83X chip, improved camera and waterproofing. The search giant may also be making a cheaper version (by making come changes in the hardware) for emerging markets.
Meanwhile, Android Police found various code-names for the Pixel 2, such as Muskie and Walleye, and according to the report, the names were found in the Android Open Source Project. The report stated that Google’s Tree Hugger — an automated update bot — mentioned these two names for the phones, which are expected to be normal-sized versions of the Pixel 2 series with 5-inch and 5.5-inch displays.
There have also been other reports suggesting code-names such as Taimen. Droid-Life stated that Taimen would be much bigger than Muskie and Walleye.