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article imageGoogle's Pixel 2 to feature a curved display sourced from LG

By James Walker     Apr 10, 2017 in Technology
Google is said to be planning to equip its upcoming Pixel 2 smartphone with a curved display. The move will follow Samsung's Galaxy S8 and the LG G6. Google will source its screens from LG in a significant deal worth nearly one billion dollars.
LG Display has reportedly been approached by Google in connection with supplying curved OLED screens for an upcoming smartphone. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Google is eyeing this as more important than a simple purchase order. It will be a strategic move as it wants to use LG panels on Pixel phones for the next few years, reducing its reliance on Samsung's display business.
The 1 trillion won ($875 million) deal would allow Google to acquire a sustainable supply of high-quality panels. LG is yet to accept the proposal, leaving the future of the Pixel's display tech uncertain. If Google is unable to secure the deal, it may end up relying on Samsung's established curved screens.
Although it is yet to respond to Google's request, LG would also benefit from the arrangement. The company has been courting customers in an attempt to shift its manufacturing focus away from aging LCD displays and onto new OLED models. A multi-year agreement with Google to build OLED screens for the smartphone that headlines the Android brand will be a significant step forward in this aim.
As for the Pixel itself, a curved screen could give Google's device the standout looks necessary to compete with the striking smartphone designs already launched this year. Beyond the marketing buzzwords, Samsung's "Infinity Edge" and LG's own "Full Vision" bezel-less panels are succeeding at turning heads, convincing people to move away from flat displays.
With the Galaxy S8 having been given an impressively positive reception, Google will no doubt be looking to add the tech that consumers are demanding to the second-generation Pixel. The phone launched last October and immediately met with an overwhelmingly warm welcome. As a debut hardware device, the Pixel has some shortcomings to improve on though, one of which is its design.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with the Pixel, reviewers noted its chassis is glaringly neutral. Adding a curved display could give the phone a more intriguing design that's aesthetically pleasing and also highly fashionable. The jury's still out on whether curved panels actually make phones easier to hold and use but Samsung and LG are already demonstrating they can visually improve aging smartphone designs.
Demand for curved displays is expected to steadily increase over the next few years as more smartphone manufacturers launch new devices at a range of price points. Apple is widely rumoured to be getting on board with the upcoming iPhone 8, an event which would bring curved panels to millions of new mobile customers.
Assuming the report is accurate, the Google Pixel 2 could bring a major design overhaul over its first-generation parent. Little is currently known about the revamped phone but Google is expected to improve the processor and camera in a bid to further increase performance. Waterproofing may also be added to the chassis and a third phablet-sized device added to the line-up.
More about Google, google pixel, google pixel 2, Android, Smartphones
 
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