Rumor: Samsung to buy OLED TV panels from LG

Samsung Electronics and LG Display are in discussions about OLED TV panels, according to multiple Korean reports today. Samsung is reportedly hoping to secure 1 million panels this year and 4 million next year.    

LG, Samsung OLED partnership

South Korea's LG and Samsung are fierce rivals but recent market developments and surging LCD panel prices could force Samsung Electronics to turn to LG Display for OLED TV panel supply, reports MTN, ETNews, and Seoul Economic Daily. - "According to industry officials, senior management of Samsung Electronics and LG Display recently met and agreed to supply OLED," reported MTN.co.kr. "The supply scale is known to be 1 million units in the second half of this year and 4 million units next year." Research firm Omdia said that the average price of a 55-inch LCD panel from $110 last year in March to almost $191 this year, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. A 65-inch LCD panel rose from $170 to $242. The "surge in LCD prices is the background of Samsung Electronics reaching out to LG Display", the report claimed. If true, it would be a significant development after Samsung tried and failed to achieve mass-production of OLED TV panels in 2012/2013. The failed attempt forced Samsung to refocus on LCD TVs.

LG Display to expand production

LG Display is currently the only supplier of OLED TV panels. Its panels are used in OLED TVs from LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Vizio, and others. Samsung's display division, Samsung Display, is believed to be developing its own QD-OLED variant but it will take time to achieve large-scale mass-production. LG Display is expanding its production capacity and recently started supplying OLED panels to American and Chinese TV makers. Also read: 42" OLED TVs & 'next-generation OLED' coming in 2021, 20-30" OLED later

Rumor: Samsung to buy OLED TV panels from LG LG DIsplay's roadmap for OLED development and panel production. Photo: OLED-Info.com

An Industry source claimed that a supply contract is close to being finalized - "We have not signed a supply contract yet, but we only need to go through a working-level consultation to determine the details," an industry official familiar with the matter told Seoul Economic Daily. However, in an interview with Korean newspaper Chosun Samsung's president of VD (Visual Display) dismissed the reports as "only rumors". - Source: MTN, ETNews, Seoul Economic Daily, Chosun