LG Ditching G7 OLED Plans? Samsung Rival Likely Using LCD To Cut Costs

Looks like LG Electronics will have to make do with using LCD display technology for its upcoming G6 successor. The South Korean company may have ditched plans of outfitting its next flagship offering with OLED display. 

The Investor reported Friday that LG will likely adopt LCD display for its upcoming flagship handset, which is tentatively referred to as the G7. The move is seen as LG’s way of reducing the cost of building its next high-end offering while its smartphone business is still struggling. 

Market analysts said that if LG were to use OLED screens for its G7 phone, the device could become slimmer and more energy-efficient. However, this would also mean bigger production costs since OLED screens cost twice or three times more than LCD panels. 

When LG launched the G6 early last year, many were surprised to know that the device was sporting LCD display given that other manufacturers were already using OLED panels for their premium phones. Then late last year, LG debuted its first OLED handset, the V30, leading many to believe that the succeeding flagships from the Korean firm will utilize the more advanced display technology. 

Nevertheless, LG may have learned from experience that using OLED technology won’t guarantee a better outcome for its mobile phone business. Apparently, the V30 fell short of helping the company realize its goal of turning around its mobile division last year. LG revealed that during the October-December period, it lost money for the 11th-consecutive quarter. 

On top of this, LG is also well aware that even Apple experienced a similar hardship in selling OLED phones last year. The Cupertino giant’s first OLED offering, the iPhone X, suffered lukewarm sales. The tech giant even resorted to reducing its OLED panel orders to Samsung because the 10th anniversary iPhone did not meet sales expectations. 

Even though LG’s decision to use LCD technology for its G7 phone may be a tad disappointing, it’s worth noting that the company is doing its best to ensure that its upcoming flagship will still offer a superb experience. Recent reports claim LG is using a different type of LCD, called MLCD+, which consumes 35 percent less power than conventional LCD and boasts better brightness. 

LG has yet to confirm anything about its next flagship offering at this point. Nonetheless, Hana Investment analyst Kim Hyun-soo opines that LG could soon join the bandwagon of using OLED screens for its high-end handsets simply because this is an inevitable phenomenon. “Smartphones will have to switch to OLED anyway for future foldable handsets, so there’s no need to rush the transition to OLED now,” Kim said. 

LG G7’s predecessor was launched at MWC 2017 in February, but the company is believed to be debuting its new flagship device this coming June. This is because the company has decided to not follow its usual timetable for its smartphone releases this year. Not only that, LG’s mobile chief ordered the team developing the G7 to revise it from scratch back in January. 

LG G6 LG is still using LCD display for its G6 successor. Photo: Reuters/Raul Hanna

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