A big upheaval could happen in the audiovisual world as Samsung could start producing OLED TVs with panels sourced from rival LG, according to a report from the Korean broadcaster. MTN spotted by Sammobile. The two companies have reportedly signed a conditional agreement for Samsung to purchase up to 1 million OLED panels from LG in the second half of 2021 and up to 4 million panels in 2022.
Samsung has stuck with its QLED technology for high-end TVs, despite being one of the largest manufacturers of OLED displays for smartphones. Meanwhile, LG is committed to using OLED for its more expensive TVs, and also supplies Sony and other manufacturers with OLED panels. If correct, the news that Samsung could build at least some OLED TVs would be a big change in the industry.
The rumor makes sense given the recent changes in the flat panel industry. As Yonhap just reported, LG and Samsung are focusing on LCD TVs towards higher end models. The LCD display offering is now driven by Chinese companies such as BOE, CSOT and HKC, which currently occupy the top three places in panel manufacturing.
To this end, LG Display plans to increase its profitable production capacity of OLED panels “as part of its efforts to dominate the OLED market,” according to TrendForce. Of the 25 million panels shipped last year, 8 million are said to be OLEDs, so it would make sense to boost production in order to meet Samsung’s orders.
Samsung, meanwhile, is focusing on its new hybrid QD-OLED technology with the first TVs to hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, it has reportedly run into production performance issues, which may have caused it. being forced to source OLED from LG instead.
Samsung and LG have also worked together before, as Samsung used to previously says it is in talks with LG to source LCD display panels. However, while a deal between the two makes sense, neither company has confirmed the rumor, so the reported deal may never come to fruition.