LG Asks Samsung to Form Large OLED TV Panel Partnership

Could Samsung be returning the OLED TV scene? For a while the company was backing away from large OLED panels or putting it on the backburner till yield rates improved. But the company might be making an earlier comeback, as long term rival LG Display seeks to forge a partnership.

According to a report from The Korea Times, LG Display has asked Samsung Display to joint it in the field of developing large-sized OLED panels to cope with increasing competition from Chinese companies in the sector.

"Samsung Display will join with LG," LG Display CEO and Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom said on the sidelines of a meeting between CEOs from big companies and the trade ministry in downtown Seoul, Wednesday. "I believe this issue is a matter of timing." 

No specific dates were given about when this will be happening. Han pointed out, though, the company will be investing 4 trillion won (US $) in two key Korean plants Paju and Gumi to focus on larger OLED panels for television.

The company has rolled out some land works in its P10-dubbed OLED plant in Paju, he added.

According to the report, the plant will be OLED plant in the world, and operations are scheduled to take place in June 2018. The company will be supplying small and large OLED panels to clients including to Apple.

The plant, which will be the largest OLED plant in the world, will be operational from June 2018 and supply small and large OLED panels to top clients including Apple.

He cast a pessimistic outlook for the global display industry performance in 2016, as weak panel prices and oversupply issues continued to plague the industry.

In response, Samsung Display responded it was “trying hard to fine-tune OLED technologies.”

The display affiliate of Samsung Group has been struggling with OLED manufacturing technology barriers, and centered its OLED panel strategy mostly on small to mid-sized panels for smartphones and tablets.

"Samsung Display is trying its best to develop OLED technologies," CEO Park Dong-geun said. "We are reviewing the marketability of the OLED TV market. However, no decisions have been made so far," Park said. The company has not finalized the timing to start mass production of OLED TV panels yet.

Even though no final decision has been made, the company has rolled out plans of asking top-tier local suppliers to develop equipment required for its display plants in Korea.

Prior to LG Display's invitation, technology barriers led Samsung to shift its attention to exploring alternative display technologies including quantum dot TVs.

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