Google’s upcoming smartphone, the Pixel 2, is expected to be a testing ground for the company. It will have to build on the original Pixel’s strengths and overcome its weaknesses.
The smartphone will also have to compete with other flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8. To do so, it will need to have features such as an edge-to-edge display. Google seems to be on track with endowing the Pixel 2 with such a display. The company has offered to invest 1 trillion Korean won ($880 million) in LG’s display division to fund the production of displays for the device, Korean news publication ETNews reported Sunday citing industry sources.
The investment is expected to help LG maintain a stable supply of flexible OLED panels for the next Pixel device. The offer, which has not been confirmed by either Google or LG, stipulates that the size of the investment could increase depending on the demand for Pixel 2. The report said that LG is “carefully considering” it.
If the deal goes through, the panels are expected to be produced at LG’s E5 unit, which will start operation in the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, pointing toward an October launch for the Pixel 2.
The current Pixel devices have AMOLED displays made by Samsung and feature a slight 2.5D curved display; Pixel 2 devices are expected to have highly curved edges, a prerequisite for edge-to-edge displays.
In 2017, smartphone screens are expected to offer users more surface area as major flagships are expected to feature edge-to-edge displays or at least, better screen ratio. The first two flagships of the year — the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 — have an 18.5:9 screen ratio and other flagships such as the Apple iPhone 8 and the Google Pixel 2 are expected to follow suit. In fact, Apple is rumored to have placed an order for OLED display panels with Samsung for the same purpose.