Apple is no stranger to problematic smartphone launches. Remember Antennagate? How about Bendgate? Anytime thousands of people are involved with designing a device that tens of thousands of people will then be tasked with manufacturing, things can go wrong. Google is currently learning that lesson the hard way as new and bigger problems pop up each day with the company’s just-launched Pixel 2 XL smartphone. And now people are starting to worry that Apple’s upcoming new iPhone X, which will be released in less than two weeks, may have similar problems.
Are those concerns warranted? No, no they’re not.
Google’s Pixel 2 XL launch has been nothing short of an absolute disaster, and Google is to blame. When the company transitioned from Nexus devices to Pixel phones, it made clear the fact that these are Google phones inside and out. They’re even branded with “Made by Google.”
Of course, Google doesn’t actually do much of the legwork involved with designing its phones, even though they’re “Made by Google.” At least, that was the case with its first- and second-generation Pixel phones; future devices should be a bit different now that Google has acqui-hired a huge group of smartphone engineers from HTC.
But in the case of the Pixel 2 XL, LG actually designed and built the phone in partnership with Google. Why is that significant? Because LG has an awful track record with flagship phones.
The LG G6 is a terrific handset, and the company has enjoyed smooth sailing since releasing the phone earlier this year. As a recent Reddit thread points out, however, this is the exception to the rule LG. In fact, the G6 is the only flagship phone out of the company’s last seven launches that isn’t plagued with serious problems.
That’s right, LG is one for seven. At least it was one for seven. If you include the LG-made Pixel 2 XL that has been seeing all kinds of issues from OLED display problems to bizarre clicking noises, LG is now one for eight. Here’s the quick list put together by Reddit user BFCE:
All G4s bootloop eventually
All Nexus 5X bootloop eventually
All LG V10 bootloop eventually
All unrooted LG V20s will slow themselves with root checkers until restart
LG G5 has the same problems
LG V30 isn’t even a year old and it has screen burnin and uneven colors and blotches.. who knows what kind of problems it’ll have in a year or two.
Pixel 2 XL now also has those issues.
How does all this involve Apple and the iPhone X? Apple’s upcoming tenth-anniversary iPhone will be the company’s first smartphone to include an OLED display. Because Apple fans are reading about all the problems Google is having with its OLED displays on the Pixel 2 XL, there’s a concern floating around social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that the iPhone X might have similar issues. The good news is that these concerns are misguided.
LG Electronics subsidiary LG Display makes phenomenal OLED panels for televisions, but tiny little smartphone screens are an entirely different beast. As has been independently confirmed and reported by at least a half-dozen different news outlets, Samsung Display is the sole supplier of OLED panels for Apple’s upcoming iPhone X.
Samsung, of course, is known far and wide for making the best smartphone screens on the planet. Combine that with Apple’s tuning and you’ve got a recipe for success. Nothing is perfect and some Samsung OLED screens have had issues on occasion in the past, but the company has many years of experience and many successful launches under its belt.
The moral of the story is this: LG has some great products in its portfolio, but it has a long history with flagship smartphones that are plagued with problems. Google’s Pixel 2 XL was designed and built in part by LG, while the upcoming iPhone X was designed by Apple and will include Samsung’s industry-leading displays.