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Google invests $880 million in LG's OLED technology

The Google Pixel has had trouble staying in stock due to display shortages. (Image source: Google)
The Google Pixel has had trouble staying in stock due to display shortages. (Image source: Google)
The investment is meant to shore up supply of LG's flexible OLED displays that Google plans to use in their next flagship smartphone.

Today, Google announced plans to invest at least $880 million (~₩1 trillion KRW) in LG’s Display Co Ltd division. This will be a measure to increase the production of LG’s OLED displays meant for smartphones and other mobile devices.

According to Reuters, Google said these funds were meant to “secure a stable supply of flexible OLED screens for its next Pixel smartphones.” Google’s flagship device has repeatedly met with supply problems since its release last October. The Pixel quickly became one of the most sought after Android smartphones on the market, but retailers have consistently sold out of stock. This is mainly due to short supply of the displays used in the phone.

Keep in mind that this influx of cash is not a purchase order; Google still isn’t buying a literal boatload of OLED screens. However, this investment will probably come as an incentive for LG to guarantee stock. The size of the investment should allow the Korean tech giant to keep OLED screens coming off the line in order to meet the high anticipated demand for Google’s next smartphone.

The word “flexible” is piquing several people’s curiosities. This could be a hint that the next Google flagship will feature a curved display akin to the Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S8. The upcoming Pixel 2 could feature a rounded display, but this is complete speculation at this point. Google hasn’t even confirmed the name of their next flagship smartphone, but this news is further confirmation that we’ll see a Pixel successor later this year.


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Sam Medley, 2017-04-10 (Update: 2017-04-10)