When it comes to the TV industry, LG and Samsung, two of the biggest brands, have been following different paths. While LG has been pushing its high-quality OLED TV panels, Samsung ditched it altogether for its own QLED technology. However, multiple reports from South Korea claim that Samsung has inked a deal to buy OLED panels from LG. This could mean that the company is finally making the switch from LCD-based QLED to newer OLED-based panels.
QLED over OLED
Samsung is among the biggest suppliers of OLED panels along with LG. Samsung’s OLED panels are known for their higher quality in the smartphone industry. However, the company has struggled to maintain the same level of quality when it comes to TVs. After all, the display technology is hard to scale up for bigger panels.
Even LG uses WOLED (White OLED) technology for TVs which is a bit different than the conventional RGB OLED used in smartphones. Samsung has repeatedly cited these scalability obstacles along with screen burn-in issues for choosing QLED over OLED.
Past efforts and the present deal
Though these latest reports may have come as a surprise to many, it is not the first time Samsung has been linked with external display manufacturers. Last year, rumors suggested that Samsung was turning to Chinese OLED manufacturers for its M-series device in a bid to cut down prices. Rumors even claimed that the Galaxy M41 was canceled in the final hour when the third-party panel failed the quality test.
According to the reports, the new deal means LG will supply 1 million OLED panels to Samsung in the second half of this year. Similarly, the supply will be increased to 4 million the following year. Since it has been reported by three different outlets, it looks like a done deal. However, Jong-Hee Han, Samsung display executive has denied the reports.
Why now is the best time for the switch?
This could mean that Samsung may finally be moving past the LCD technology. The company has been using quantum-dot panels in front of LCD panels for its TVs. In case you didn’t know, Samsung announced to shut down its LCD production by the end of 2020. However, the company revoked the decision citing that a lot of customers still relied on the company for LCD panels.
Recently, the price of LCD panels has grown significantly because of the global silicon shortage. This makes it a perfect time for Samsung to switch to alternative technologies.
The company has been experimenting with different other technologies including MicroLED, QD-OLED, and even QNED. The first commercial MicroLED TV from Samsung will debut this year. According to The Elec, the company has already started working on prototypes of TV based on QD-OLED. Reportedly, one of the prototypes was rejected back in January due to brightness issues.
On the other hand, LG recently opened a new production facility in China with plans to produce 60,000 OLED panels a month. This will take LG’s total production to 130,000 panels per month. LG’s annual TV production for this year is reported to be 8 million.
- Meanwhile, check out our review of the Samsung 55RU7100 TV.