LG, at least it’s mobile division, is in a pinch right now. It has reportedly rebooted its flagship phone development last January in a desperate attempt to reverse its course after continually losing money for years. LG might play it safe with its next premium phone, still believed to be called the LG G7, and that might mean a return to tried and tested formulas. Like a return to using LCD instead of OLED, according to certain market analysts.
It’s not that LCD is superior to OLED. It might be in some ways, but in LG’s context, it’s really all about cost-cutting. An OLED panel is thinner, having no need for a backlight layer, potentially more flexible, and more energy-efficient. It is, however, also more expensive compared to the more common LCD.
LG’s LCD return won’t be a complete downgrade though. According to reports, the LG G7 will feature an “MLCD+” type of display that promises 35% less power consumption and higher levels of brightness. It’s unknown whether LG has achieved a thinner profile for that panel as well.
LG’s reported U-turn from OLED screens highlights the current OLED market plight even further. In addition to being expensive to make, there are only a few manufacturers of OLED panels for phones, Samsung being the biggest. But Samsung itself is having problems finding buyers, especially after Apple’s reported reduction in iPhone X orders. LG will definitely not be able to afford those after its 11 consecutive quarters of losses.
What the LG G7 will become is now an even bigger question. In addition to the staples of a Snapdragon 845 and 4 to 6, maybe even 8, GB of RAM, the G7 is also expected to sport a screen that very much resembles the iPhone X, notch and all. But whereas the iPhone X used an OLED screen, LG might be trying its luck doing the same with just a LCD panel instead. The LG G7 is expected to launch in May.