Samsung Display Co., which dominates the small and mid-sized organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel market, is set to make a large-scale investment in large OLED panels for TVs.
Earlier, the company was expected to announce investment plans for quantum-dot OLED (QD-OLED) for TVs in April, but it delayed the announcement. However, the company cannot postpone investment any longer in light of its schedule for volume production of OLED TVs. Therefore, it is expected to stop its existing liquid crystal display (LCD) panel production line in August to convert it into an OLED production line.
Samsung Display is planning to make a final decision on investment in QD-OLED TV panels at the end of this month or early next month, according to display industry sources on June 23. An official who is well-informed with the matter said, “The company has decided to shift its focus to QD-OLED. It only needs to work out details for the conversion.”
Industry watchers think that Samsung Display will place an order for equipment in July and shut down its LCD line at the Asan Campus in Cheonan in August and transform it into TV QD-OLED production line. The total investment figure will reach 2.5 trillion won (US$2.15 billion) to nearly 3 trillion won (US$2.58 billion). They say that the Samsung Display is about to start investment in TV QD-OLED because the firm cannot delay its investment plan any longer in order to meet the goal of starting volume production of QD-OLED panels by 2021.
However, some say that the company’s investment scale is smaller than expected. This is because Samsung Display has not finalized its new investment plans yet, except for the conversion of its existing LCD line. Industry watchers say that the firm may also build a QD-OLED production line at its new A5 plant which is under construction, but it is difficult for Samsung Display to make a decision on the A5 plant as Samsung Electronics’ business support task force, which controls Samsung Group’s electronics affiliates, is currently under prosecutor's investigation. Construction of the plant has also been suspended. In addition, Samsung Display is likely to make a decision on new investment after checking on the performance of the OLED line converted from the LCD line, considering the investment in TV QD-OLED is in its beginning stage.