For as long as one can remember, phone displays have been much like the world was once believed to be: Flat. Thankfully, most people know – B.o.B. not withstanding – that the world is round. Curves are good, you see, and thus Samsung and LG have been bending their displays for a few years now. Products categories include smartwatches, smartphones, fitness bands, and televisions. Still, to hold the fold, one has had very few options to fit the mold. That may be changing.
Following on the footsteps of last fall’s BlackBerry Priv and this spring’s Vivo’s Xplay 5 – both of which allegedly use Samsung’s dual curved edge panels – a new report from Chinese site MyDrivers claims that Xiaomi will make use of an LG flexible display and Huawei will make use of one from Samsung. The new devices are supposedly going to be launched this September.
Huawei’s device is rumored to be called the “Mate Edge” and will make use of Samsung’s dual curved edge display OLED prowess. As Samsung is careful the brand only the screens on its own products as Super AMOLED, the phone will thus likely make use of a simply “standard” AMOLED. The phone is said to be powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 950 SoC and be coupled with 4GB of RAM. It is expected to cost around 4,000 Yuan, which is roughly $617.
In terms of design, it can be assumed the product will look visually similar to a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and would presumably follow the trend Huawei has set of placing the fingerprint reader on the back of the device.
It is worth mentioning that the price point mentioned is quite high for a company typically associated with more affordable products. By the time it would release, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge may very well have reduced in price to around the same amount thus inadvertently creating a fair bit of competition.
Xiaomi’s device is rumored to be called either the “Mi Edge” or the “Mi Note Edge” and will make use of a flexible display from LG. With respect to the display itself, the report suggests it will have a curved edge, however it should be noted that LG Display has yet to commercially manufacture the dual curved edge panels which it displayed behind closed doors at CES 2015. It could be possible this phone would use a display similar to the one seen in LG’s G Flex series.
In terms of specs, Xiaomi’s offering is said to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, and a 16-megapixel rear camera. It is expected to cost 3,000 Yuan, or roughly $463, which would make it considerably cheaper than the product Huawei is seeking to bring to market if the price reports are accurate.
Display, oh yay!
Assuming this report is true, it will be good news for both Samsung and LG who can benefit from contracts with rival OEMs. This will serve to help the company’s bottom line and improve fiscal performance in the coming months and even years. LG, for example, suffered this past fiscal quarter because of lower LCD panel shipments. It has frequently been mentioned that OLED panels are the “way forward” with respect to making money from display sales. A report last year found Samsung has almost all of the profit currently.
While seeing Samsung’s display on a different device may not be so strange, just what LG will potentially offer remains to be seen. If the company will indeed produce dual curved display panels that look just like Samsung’s, there is a real question as to why the company would have failed to release it’s own product that uses it’s own panels before letting a competitor have them.
Also worth considering: what kind of implementation would be used? Some have already argued that Samsung’s non-Note Edge curves are put to waste, could Huawei or Xiaomi put the Korean conglomerate in its place?
What do you think? Would you be interested in buying a phone from Xiaomi or Huawei with a curved OLED? Are these companies innovating or are they copying? Does it even matter? Leave a comment below!