While it may seem to the layman on the street that intensely competitive phone makers do not see eye to eye, the truth is that a lot of companies depend on many other companies, sometimes their staunch rivals, for essential components of their devices and even link multi-year deals to keep the supplies rolling in. An example of this is the widely-reported news that Samsung will be manufacturing OLED displays for Apple's future iPhones. In a turn of events, it is now being reported that Samsung is planning on sourcing 2-metal chip-on-films from fellow Korean phone maker LG for its upcoming Galaxy phones with curved displays.
LG hasn't been faring too well in the smartphone market of late but in terms of creating new display technologies, the company has been right up there with the best. Back in January, LG was awarded a patent for a wraparound display which could wrap around a smartphone's body and recently filed a fresh patent application for a smartphone display with 21:9 aspect ratio- a kind only available in theatres. While Samsung has so far invested heavily in reducing its dependence on outside suppliers, like in the case of Exynos chips replacing Snapdragon chips on some of its device models, its de facto chief Lee Jae-Yong intends to go for the best components for Galaxy phones no matter who produces them. As of now, it seems that LG's 2-metal chip-on-films, which connect smartphone displays with internal circuitry, are ideally placed to be shipped out to Samsung as they are foldable unlike those manufactured by companies that Samsung has been scouting.
While Samsung did confirm that it is looking at LG's films with interest, there is no guarantee that the company will definitely place an order. Samsung has a number of Galaxy devices with curved displays, especially the recently announced Galaxy Note 7 whose curved edges feature widgets and notifications, so the fact that it is planning to source foldable films indicates that it's future Galaxy phones could feature edges that are a lot more curved, potentially even folded. LG Innotek, a subsidiary of LG which produces the films, is reportedly initiating mass production of the films later this year regardless of whether Samsung orders them or not, so it is clear that even LG may be looking at launching new phones with curved displays by next year even after its G Flex and G Flex 2 phones didn't fare particularly well after they were launched.