According to industry sources, Samsung Electronics is looking to acquire a Taiwanese LED manufacturer in order to offset the sluggish sales of its QLED TVs. Samsung Electronics is also planning to alter its Cinema LED Screen for movie theaters to supply the product for use at home.
The Taiwanese company that Samsung Electronics is interested in is a micro LED company. Samsung Electronics’ QLED TVs are characterized by having liquid crystal displays coated with quantum dot materials. With the micro LED technology of the Taiwanese company, the LEDs of the QLED TVs can be reduced in size.
In the Cinema LED Screen, in the meantime, LEDs function as light sources and show images at the same time. The LEDs constitute the entire screen while showing different colors. At present, the LEDs are arranged with a gap of 2.5 mm. The picture quality of the screen can be boosted if the gap can be reduced.
The ultimate purpose of Samsung Electronics’ attempt to acquire the Taiwanese company is the release of a home version of the Cinema LED Screen. Industry insiders say that its move is to develop a TV based on LEDs allowing individual pixel control.
Samsung Electronics’ focus on micro LED also has to do with the less-than-expected sales of its QLED TVs. Last year, Samsung Electronics accounted for 20.3% of the global premium TV market. In 2015, its market share had amounted to 57.7%. LG Electronics, on the contrary, boosted its share from 17.5% to 43.1% during the same period with its OLED TVs. In the first quarter of this year, LG Electronics, Sony and Samsung Electronics came in first, second and third in the global premium TV market, respectively.
Samsung Electronics lowered the prices of its QLED TVs in North America in July this year. Specifically, it cut the prices of 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch by US$800, US$1,200 and US$1,500, respectively. This is rare in that consumer electronics manufacturers tend to maintain high prices when it comes to premium products few in the industry can make.
The popularity of OLED TVs is likely to keep rising for the time being. Market research firm IHS recently said that the global OLED TV sales volume is expected to reach 6.6 million units in 2021. The volume was 724,000 last year.