Samsung has been resolutely anti-OLED for years now, actively campaigning against the tech in an attempt to put consumers off the LG-manufactured TV technology and persuade them to buy a QLED instead. Now, report from South Korean sites MTN, ETNews, and Seoul Economic Daily (via The Verge) claim that Samsung are in fact about to sign a contract to buy millions of OLED panels from LG.
We already knew that Samsung Electronics and sister-division Samsung Display are deep into discussions about the former buying QD-OLED panels from the latter but, if true, these new claims suggest an even greater about-turn is coming from Samsung.
In the case of QD-OLED, Samsung will be able to claim (or, at least, attempt to claim) that its new sets, which will apparently combine blue OLED material with red and green quantum dots, are the result of hybrid technology and not really the same as the OLEDs of old. It will likely find it much harder to make the same claims about any TVs derived from LG’s OLED technology, which Samsung has been belittling for years on the grounds of limited brightness and the potential for burn-in.
It’s also worth noting that Samsung and LG are essentially arch rivals, so the idea of the former having to swallow its pride and approach its nemesis to buy its trademark technology is fascinating.
Samsung Electronics apparently finds itself in this position because Samsung Display is finding it increasingly hard to make a profit from the manufacture of the LCD panels that Samsung uses across its current range (including its QLEDs), thanks to Chinese brands flooding the market with much cheaper panels. Samsung can either start buying its panels from these Chinese brands, or seek to go in a new direction, and it appears to have opted for the latter option, even though it means going with a technology it’s publicly criticised and buying panels from its rival.
Ultimately, though, while these industry shenanigans are incredibly interesting (if you like that sort of thing), the upshot is that we should see OLED TVs from Samsung hit shelves next year, and that can only be a good thing, particularly where those TVs also contain aspects of the excellent QLED technology. Watch this space.
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