LG’s Premier Smartphones to Use Both OLEDs and LCDs
May 14, 2018
LGE introduced its G7 ThinQ smartphone late last week, a 6.1” smartphone with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. What makes this $1,000+ smartphone unusual is that it is based on LCD technology. LG Display is looking to become a small panel OLED supplier to Apple, and as such is adding small panel OLED capacity, primarily flexible capacity, but LG Electronics is a smartphone brand, focused on reviving their smartphone business, which has been underperforming for the last few years. Some have speculated that LGE is focusing on LCD smartphone displays because LG Display has insufficient OLED capacity to supply Google, LGE and Apple. LG Electronics has been producing a fairly consistent line-up of smartphones, which tend to be based on LCD displays, with only the “V” series using OLED displays. Given LGE’s lack of profitability in its smartphone division they should be very cost conscious, however, the cost of small panel LCD displays is at parity to or lower than the cost of equivalent small panel rigid OLED displays and considerably lower than the cost of small panel flexible OLED displays, which would tilt the scales toward LCD for most of the lines.
LGE has stated that they will continue to use OLED displays for their high-end “V” series (Note the V35 ThinQ, which is expected to be released in the near-term has been called the “more innovative” series in their line-up, leaving LCDs for their mainstream models. Looking at the comparison of the G7 ThinQ and the iPhone X, the G7 display looks similar to the LCD variant of the iPhone 9 family, with key improvements in resolution and size, and potentially brightness.
Table 1: LG Electronics Smartphone Line-up 2017/2018
Table 2: Selected G7/iPhone X Comparisons
Source: SCMR LLC, GSMArena