Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Samsung Electronics’ TV Division Grappling with Next-generation TV Strategy
Focus of TV Strategy Shifting to QD-OLED
Samsung Electronics’ TV Division Grappling with Next-generation TV Strategy
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • October 8, 2019, 12:01
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Samsung Electronics’ visual display (VD) business division may lose its power to lead the company's TV business to Samsung Display.

A sense of crisis is spreading among officials of Samsung Electronics’ visual display (VD) business division, which has solidified the company's lead in the global TV market with quantum dot LED (QLED) TVs. This is because the VD division may lose the power to lead the company's TV business in the future as its affiliate Samsung Display is going to make a 10 trillion won (US$8.36 billion) investment in quantum dot OLED (QD-OLED) technology.

Samsung Electronics’ VD division is pursuing a two-track strategy based on QLED TVs, which are the current flagship product, and micro LED TVs, which are next-generation products currently under development. The company is planning to transform the TV market from 4K and 8K QLED TVs to micro LED TVs in the future. This strategy has gained support from the success of QLED TVs, which have sold more than  5.40 million units since their release in 2017.

However, a change could be made to this strategy as Samsung Display will announce on Oct. 10 a plan to invest 10 trillion won (US$8.36 billion) to build manufacturing lines for QD-OLED displays at its Tangjeong plant in South Chungcheong Provinceon.

Samsung Display has stopped some of the 8th generation liquid crystal display (LCD) production lines and is planning to sell them off. An industry insider said, “The company may stop all of its LCD lines in the future. It will also gradually reduce production of LCD displays for televisions.” In this case, Samsung Display may have a bigger say than the VD division of Samsung Electronics in handling the TV business.

A Samsung Display official said, “Samsung Electronics’ VD division has taken care of QLED TVs, but Samsung Display will take charge of QD-OLED TVs. Since the VD division will be in charge of only micro LED TVs in the future, it can feel that its power will reduce.”

Samsung Electronics’ VD division said it would focus on the micro LED business regardless of Samsung Display’s OLED investment. However, sales of micro LED TVs are low due to high prices which reach 400 million to 500 million won (US$334,390 to 417,990) per unit. It can take a long time to popularize the products for ordinary customers.