Samsung Display Exiting Direct LCD Manufacturing Early As TV Prices Fall

May 31, 2022 by Dave Haynes

There’s a decent chance Samsung-branded LCD flat panels used in digital signage jobs were already being manufactured by other companies, but that will definitely be the case going forward, as Samsung Display exits the LCD display manufacturing business and turns fully to third-party suppliers for that product line.

The Korea Times reports Samsung Display will close its LCD manufacturing business in June, and instead market flat panels made by third-party suppliers, like China’s BOE Technology Group and Taiwan’s AU Optronics. Samsung had been signalling it was getting out of direct manufacturing by the end of this year, but that decision has been accelerated by falling LCD prices that make direct manufacturing unprofitable. 

Samsung will instead focus on quantum dots displays, which have visual quality levels that rival OLEDs. Samsung is already using quantum dots as the key enhancing component to its premium QLED displays, which are LCDs with a quantum dots layer. But the company is also developing QD-OLEDS, which like the acronym suggests are quantum dots integrated with OLEDs to make hybrid panels. The main attribute with quantum dots is that technology is its ability to amplify brightness, which has been something of a limiter for OLEDs.

The curious situation of display manufacturers being both mortal enemies and business partners is evident with multiple reports that Samsung will also market OLED panels, buying versions badged as Samsung from rival LG. In another twist, Samsung is said to be the original manufacturer of premium QD-OLED Sony TVs.

Samsung has been in the LCD business for three decades and was once the largest LCD TV panel supplier on the planet, but its market share is now just roughly two percent as lower cost, government-supported Chinese manufacturers have emerged and largely taken over.

Samsung sold its LCD TV manufacturing facilities in Suzhou, China last year to TCL China Star Opto-electronics Technology.

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