Google is reportedly planning to invest 1 trillion won (approximately $880 million) in LG's Display division. According to South Korea's Electronic Times, Google's investment is meant to secure supply of OLED displays for second generation Pixel smartphones. LG is yet to officially confirm the deal and is said to be carefully considering the offer.
Google, like Apple, wants a stable supply of flexible OLED panels for its future smartphone lineup. The company's investment will help LG Display boost its display output and Google is also willing to increase the size of its investment. LG Display is the world's largest LCD panel maker but its Korean rival Samsung continues to be the leader in the flexible OLED market. Samsung has already won orders for more than 70 million flexible OLED panels from Apple and the Cupertino-based smartphone maker plans to add new suppliers next year.
Google's Pixel and Pixel XL currently use AMOLED displays from Samsung with 2.5D curved glass. With flexible OLED panels, Google can achieve a design similar to the Galaxy S8 for its next Pixel lineup. With LG Display switching to OLED panels and ramping up production for future iPhones, Google's investment will help it secure displays for its own Pixel lineup. Google's Pixel 2 smartphones are reportedly codenamed Walleye and Muskie and are expected to launch with the Snapdragon 835 platform. Google is also rumoured to offer advanced camera features with the upcoming Pixel devices.