Tech giant Google is said to be considering an investment of 1 trillion won, about $877 million, in LG Display to ensure access to a supply of flexible screens for the next generation of its smartphones.
That investment is reportedly being made to ensure Google can produce a flexible screen version of its Pixel smartphone using LG Display’s OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, according to reports from South Korea’s ETNews and Yonhap News Agency. The arrangement would also provide LG Display with the upfront cash to ramp up production of such OLEDs.
LG Display said its plastic screen technology is “the world’s first flexible OLED display panel for smartphones.” Reportedly, other companies, including Apple and Samsung, have also been looking at flexible screen smartphones as the technology continues to improve.
‘Paradigm Shift to OLED’
Citing “industry sources,” ETNews yesterday reported that new Pixel phones featuring LG Display’s OLED technology could be released in the second half of this year. ETNews added the two companies are also “collaborating on the development of foldable displays.”
In the past 18 months, LG Display has revealed plans to spend billions of dollars building new production facilities for OLED screens. In a July 2016 statement announcing the development of a new construction line at its plant in Paju, South Korea, CEO and vice chairman Sang-Beom Han said the company’s goal is to lead an industry shift to OLED screens for mobile devices.
“A paradigm shift to OLED represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the display industry,” Han said in the statement. “LG Display is determined to become the leader in the fast-growing OLED market through timely investments to maximize efficiency.”
The Pixel smartphones, designed an built by Google, were launched in October as the company’s replacement for its previous in-house Android brand, the…