Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Weakening LCD Panel Profitability Prompts Samsung and LG to Zero In on Large OLED Panels
Switching from LCD Panels to OLED Displays
Weakening LCD Panel Profitability Prompts Samsung and LG to Zero In on Large OLED Panels
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • August 23, 2019, 10:12
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Competition in the large OLED panel market is expected to intensify as Samsung Display is likely to shift its focus from LCD panels to large OLED displays.

Competition in the large OLED panel market is expected to intensify as Samsung Display is likely to start production of large OLED panels.

Samsung Display is moving to reduce production of LCD panels which are in oversupply due to massive output from Chinese producers. It is planning to halt some of 8th-generation lines in Asan, South Chungcheong Province. The lines mass-produce 90,000 LCD panels per month.

LG Display is also considering shutting down some of the 8.5-generation LCD panel lines at its Paju plant in Gyeonggi Province. Samsung Display and LG Display cannot win a price war with Chinese companies such as BOE and CSOT because these Chinese companies receive subsidies from the Chinese government. The average unit price of 55-inch LCD panels dropped by more than 20 percent in July.

Hence, both Samsung Display and LG Display are switching to the large OLED panel market. LG Display dominates this market, but LCD panels still account for about 80 percent of its sales.

Accordingly, LG Display will shift its focus to OLED panels. The company has decided to invest an additional 3 trillion won in 10.5-generation OLED production lines at Paju P10 Plant. It looks to strengthen its supremacy in this market by increasing the supply of OLED panels for 55-inch TVs to 10 million units per month. In particular, it intends to solidify its lead in the OLED panel sector by launching rollable OLED TV models in the second half of this year. At the end of this month, it will put into operation an 8.5th-generation plant in Guangzhou, China which has a maximum capacity of 90,000 sheets per month.

Samsung Display, on the other hand, is planning to develop quantum dot organic light emitting diode (QD OLED) panels, which have quantum dots (QDs) on OLED panels. A QD OLED TV is an upgraded version of quantum dot LCD (QDED) TV which Samsung currently sells as its flagship product.

"If Samsung stops operating 8th-generation LCD lines, it can be interpreted as a strong signal that it is switching to OLED panels," an industry official said.