LG to pivot back to LCD for G7 to cut costs
[THE INVESTOR] LG Electronics will likely adopt an LCD display for its upcoming flagship smartphone, tentatively called the G7, in a bid to reduce costs amid sustained losses of its mobile division, according to market analysts on March 16.
OLED displays let smartphones become slimmer and more energy-efficient, but they are about double or triple the price of LCD panels.
LG Electronics` G6
For instance, a 5.5-inch LCD screen of the iPhone 8 Plus costs Apple US$52 while a 5.8-inch OLED display for the iPhone X is US$110, according to research firm IHS Markit.
“Smartphones will have to switch to OLED anyway for future foldable handsets, so there’s no need to rush the transition to OLED now,” said Kim Hyun-soo, an analyst from Hana Investment, adding the new LG phone may be launched in June.
As previously reported, the new LG flagship will likely sport LG Display’s MLCD+ display, which consumes 35 percent less power than a conventional LCD display and boasts better brightness, he said.
LGE launched its first OLED smartphone V30 late last year, but the phone fell short of helping the tech firm’s turnaround for its mobile unit. In the October-December period last year, the unit lost money for the 11th-consecutive quarter.
The shift back to LCD is said to have something do with Apple. After suffering lukewarm sales of the OLED-fitted iPhone X, the US tech firm is expected to put more focus on a 6.1-inch LCD-equipped iPhone, which will likely be released together with 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones in the latter half.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI Securities, forecast that the LCD iPhone will account for some 50 percent of the next-generation iPhones to be shipped in the second half.
LG Display, a display unit of LG Group, and Tokyo-based Japan Display, are anticipated to supply LCD displays for the new iPhone variants.
By Kim Young-won (email@example.com)