After a decade of developing OLED technology, Samsung has just acknowledged that its Korean rival, LG, is the king of the technology. Samsung has announced that from now on, all its high-end OLED televisions will feature a panel from the competition.
According to Reuters, Samsung has reportedly signed an agreement to acquire OLED panels from LG. In this arrangement, LG Display, the subsidiary dedicated to displays, will supply Samsung with high-end 77-inch and 83-inch OLED panels. This deal could potentially help Samsung generate profits amidst fierce competition in the panel industry.
This marks the first time that Samsung has purchased OLED panels from its South Korean rival, following years of rumors about similar agreements.
It is also seen as a recognition of defeat after Samsung stopped manufacturing OLED TVs in 2015, citing high panel costs and miscalculating the market’s readiness for such high-end television sets.
Samsung bet on the QLED and lost
Samsung moved forward with its QLED TVs, which are cheaper and considered inferior to OLED models, but OLED TVs have dominated the premium market from 2020 to the present.
Samsung recently returned to OLED with its first QD-OLED TV launched last year, and Samsung Display is supplying OLED panels for Sony’s first QD-OLED TV.
According to Reuters, LG Display will supply 2 million OLED panels to Samsung in 2024, 3 million in 2025, and 5 million in 2026.
LG has captured over 50% of the OLED TV market share, while Sony holds 26% and Samsung only holds 6%, according to a market study by Omdia.
The agreement comes at an ideal time for LG Display, as the company recently reported “weak demand” for televisions and lower-than-expected sales of OLED panels in its quarterly results.
It is also a good opportunity for Samsung Electronics, as the company has had a challenging quarter due to lower semiconductor demand and production cuts in memory chips.
While Samsung has dominated the global TV market for 17 consecutive years, it has faced tough competition from Chinese rivals such as Hisense and Xiaomi.
Samsung’s goal is to re-enter the high-end OLED TV market, where profit margins are high once again.
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