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How next year’s iPhone could be good for Google

Published Dec 7th, 2017 6:58PM EST
iPhone X vs. Pixel 2 XL
Image: Shutterstock

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LG is one of the display makers out there vying for Apple’s OLED business now that iPhones come with gorgeous OLED displays. And Apple happens to be looking for more iPhone X supplier to cut its dependence on Samsung, which is currently the only company capable of mass producing OLED screens that meet Apple’s stringent requirements.

That’s why it would not be surprising to hear that Apple has hired LG Display to manufacture screens according to its specifications, especially given that the two companies are working on a mysterious iPhone design that Apple wants to keep secret from Samsung. And Google’s Pixel may be an indirect beneficiary of an Apple-LG OLED deal.

A report says that LG will soon announce whether its display arm will manufacture OLED screens for future iPhone X models.

“Regarding the OLED supply deal for Apple’s iPhone X, nothing has been set in detail. When anything is confirmed in detail, we will announce it, or (otherwise an announcement will be made) in a month,” LG Display said in a regulatory filing Wednesday afternoon.

The statement was made in response to Korea Exchange’s request for LG to clarify speculation that said LG already inked an OLED supply deal for the iPhone X, The Korea Herald reports.

On the same date that LG released its statement, another report said that LG Display is currently setting up production equipment at the Paju E6 plant. Once operational, the assembly line will start manufacturing screens sometime in June. It’ll be ready to supply some 60 million OLED units, supposedly by the end of next year.

How is this of any relevance for Google’s Pixel? Well, Apple will probably fix LG’s OLED displays, so that they can deliver the same performance as Samsung’s OLED screens used in the iPhone X. There’s no way Apple will even consider buying from LG if LG’s OLED technology can’t measure up to Samsung’s.

The iPhone X has the best screen in the industry according to display experts who previously crowned Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 as the best screen on a smartphone. Before that, the Galaxy S8 received that title.

Google’s Pixel 2 XL came under fire for various screen issues that were not replicated on the smaller Pixel 2. Samsung manufactured the Pixel 2 screen, while LG is responsible for the OLED display in the Pixel 2 XL — the entire Pixel 2 XL phone is manufactured by LG. Next year, Google is expected to launch all-screen Pixel 3 phones, and it’s extremely likely they’ll pack OLED screens made by Samsung and/or LG.

Whether Apple and LG end up striking a deal or not, reports do say that Apple will sell two OLED iPhones next year, which means it’ll require more supply than what Samsung can offer. LG Display isn’t the only company looking to secure OLED display orders. China’s BOE is ready to build a plant that would only produce OLED screen supply for Apple’s phones.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.