Google offers at least $880 million to LG for OLED displays

Reuters

Reuters

A new report from South Korea's Electronic Times says Google is offering to invest in LG Display Company to be able to get its hands on a supply of flexible OLED screens. The search giant released the Pixel phone with OLED display past year, but it has faced issues in securing the displays. Samsung recently secured a $4.3 billion deal to supply OLED screens for the next iPhone, according to multiple reports, building on a previous agreement to supply 100 million OLED screens for the device. For now, LG Display supplies flexible OLED panels for the LG Electronics' watch series and also Apple Watch.

Google might just follow in Samsung's footsteps with a curved-screen flagship phone of its own if a new partnership with LG Display goes through. LG is said to be reviewing Google's offer at present. OLED displays are in short supply at the moment.

LG is aware of the fact that Google released its last Pixel smartphone nearly six months ago and it is probably working on developing a potential successor.

Google designs the phone in house, and picks everything, from camera sensor to display panels, but the actual manufacturing is done by a different partner. The display comes only with a slight 2.5D curvature feature on the edges of its protective Gorilla Glass. Recent reports have suggested that Apple might have secured the majority of Samsung's OLED output for the next two years, which leaves Google with no choice but to try and switch to another display provider.

Interestingly enough, Google has in the past vaguely alluded that the so-called Pixel 2 will not suffer the same fate.

The report has no details about the actual panels or Google's upcoming phones. Further, previously leaked rumours reveal the codenames of the Pixel 2, Pixel XL and Pixel 3, which are going to be Muskie, Walleye and Taimen.

Google is expected to use the displays in its latest round of Pixel smartphones.

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