ETNews reports that Google aims to help LG Display to scale up its production of flexible OLED panels. Google offered to invest 1 trillion Korean Won ($872 million USD) as it seeks to adopt LG's flexible OLEDs in future Pixel phone devices.
Google first-gen Pixel use rigid AMOLED displays produced by Samsung Display, but Google reportedly could not get enough displays from Samsung Display (Google is not alone with this problem). Google wants to secure its supply of flexible OLEDs - the same as Apple does with its deal with SDC.
LG Display currently produces flexible plastic-based AMOLEDs in its 4.5-Gen line that has a capacity of 14,000 monthly substrates - which is quite limited. LG Display used to produce 5.5” FHD panels (used in LG's own G Flex 2) but is now focused on wearable OLEDs. LG makes the flexible round OLEDs used in its own new smartwatches - and LGD is also the exclusive supplier for Apple's Watch.
LGD is not waiting for Google, and is already working on at least two flexible OLED production lines. The first is a 6-Gen flexible OLED fab in Gumi (the E5 line, which will cost $900 million), which will have a monthly capacity of 7,500 monthly substrates and will enter mass production in the first half of 2017. LG is also working on a third flexible OLED fab, the E6 line, which will also be a 6-Gen fab with double the capacity of the E5 line (15,000 substrates). The E6 is scheduled for the end of 2018. LGD's ambitious P10 OLED fab will also include some flexible OLED capacity - although plans for this fab hasn't been finalized yet, and it will mostly be used to make large area OLED TV panels.
In December 2016 ETNews reported that LG Display is partnering with Apple, Google and Microsoft to develop a foldable OLED display for smartphones, with plans to start producing such displays in 2018. This current $827 million investment is towards flexible OLEDs but probably not foldable ones...