Samsung and LG have finally settled on an OLED TV deal, reports Ars Technica

After years of resisting moving from LCD to OLED and going back and forth with LG Display regarding a potential OLED panel deal, Samsung Electronics has finally decided to buy its rival’s OLED TV panels, Reuters reports today, citing three anonymous sources.

LG Display and Samsung have reportedly been doing this dance for years. In 2021, South Korean companies were said to be close to a deal that would see Samsung revive its OLED TV business. But by 2021, a Samsung official has allegedly said that Samsung’s quantum dot-based LED (QLED) TVs “have better picture quality than OLED TVs,As of 2022, reports have claimed that said deal is no longer in the works due to pricing concerns.

Today’s Reuters report said that LG Display and Samsung have finally agreed a “high-end TV panel” deal. It cited people who said they did not want their names published because the deal is not public and said LG Display and Samsung would not be commenting.

Reuters said that Samsung will receive two million OLED screens from LG Display in 2024, followed by 3 million and 5 million in the following years, according to “two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.” Reuters said Samsung is “likely” to initially receive Walid TV panels measuring 77 and 83 inches. That’s a much bigger deal than the more than 200,000 WOLED TV panels The Elec said the two companies were discussing in April.

Samsung temporarily stopped releasing OLED TVs after 2013 due to higher prices and high hopes for QLED TVs competing with strong picture quality and lower prices. In 2017, David Lowes, chief marketing officer of Samsung Electronics Europe, told IFA that Samsung won’t be entering the OLED market again anytime soon “because QLED is free from burn-in issues and scales more cost-effectively for larger screens,” according to Sammobile. .

“We believe QLED is the TV technology of the future,” Luiz added.

But the future is now, and the hottest television, as it turns out, is OLED. OLED’s contrast continues to impress people, and TV makers have implemented techniques, such as gently shifting pixels, to help users reduce the risk of burn-in. It’s now almost impossible for Samsung TVs to sweep OLED under the rug, as evidenced by its 2022 foray into OLED TVs.

Samsung OLED TVs are based on Samsung’s quantum dot-based OLED (QD-OLED) panels. In February, it expanded its QD-OLED TV selection to 77 inches. But aside from Outdoor, Mini LED, and 8K displays, the 77-inch QD-OLED is Samsung’s most expensive TV ($3,600-$4,500 as of this writing). The deal with LG Display could reportedly allow Samsung to get into larger OLED TVs and add lower-priced options to its OLED TV lineup, which currently includes very expensive QD-OLED displays. For comparison, LG currently lists 77-inch TVs with WOLED panels made by LG with MSRPs as low as $2,300.

In 2021, when talks about the Samsung-LG Display OLED deal began, South Korea had just lost its place as the top display maker to China. There have been reports that the South Korean government has pushed Samsung and LG to play nice due to the concerns of Chinese companies, such as BOE, that raise LCD prices. Last month, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi again pointed to the negative impact that Chinese display makers that control the LCD market could have on LG, Samsung and their partners, according to The Elec.

At the same time, OLEDs are getting increasingly larger portions of the TV sales pie, making OLED’s solid strategy crucial for high-end TV participants going forward.

On the LCD side of its TVs, Samsung is seeing competition from lower-priced options from Chinese rivals like TCL. Meanwhile, its overall profits fell by 95 percent in the first quarter of 2023, while LG has not made a profit since the second quarter of 2022.

Reuters reports that shipping 2 million OLED TV panels to Samsung would give LG Display “at least $1.5 billion” and equal “about 20% to 30% of its total large-format OLED panel manufacturing capacity, bringing it to full capacity,” according to “analysts.”

Samsung, now playing the OLED TV game of catch-up, could try to grow its portfolio and OLED TV market share to 6.1 percent, which lags behind LG (54.6 percent) and Sony (26.1 percent), according to Omedia Research figures published by Reuters. .

There are many technologists eagerly awaiting Micro LED to become a serious part of these consumer TV wars. But in the near future, OLED, with its impressive contrast, improved pricing and, among new products, improved brightness, is the thing to watch. With the LCD market difficult to nail, particularly in terms of price, an OLED partnership could give these South Korean tech giants hope of staying competitive.

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