Samsung Display Co., South Korea’s leading display maker, may invest around 4 trillion won ($3.3 billion) in the production of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV panels over the next two years, raising speculation that Samsung Electronics Co., its key customer, would roll out OLED TVs in 2018 at the latest.
According to data distributed by the Korea Display Industry Association on Wednesday, Samsung Display Co. is expected to order equipment required to produce the 8th generation (2,200 mm x 2,500 mm) OLED panel in September this year and next year. The 8th generation mother glass can be cut into six 55-inch panels for an OLED TV.
It also forecast that Samsung Display’s annual production capacity of OLED TV panels will reach 495,000 square meters (㎡) next year and over 2,000,000㎡ in 2018. Considering that Samsung Display would convert its TFT-LCD production lines into ones dedicated to large-sized OLED TV panel production, the company’s investment are estimated to be between 3 trillion won and 5 trillion won, according to the industry watchers.
Once the display maker embarks on OLED TV panel production, it will likely supply OLED TV panels to its major customer Samsung Electronics that is expected to launch OLED TVs next year at the earliest and no later than 2018.
Unlike LG Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. that have heavily invested in developing OLED panels and TVs, Samsung has shunned OLED technology because of low yield rates. Also, an OLED panel has a burn-in issue after a long-hour use while so-called White RGB (WRGB) technology developed by LG Display has not proved to be perfect yet.
Kim Hyun-suk, president of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, said at CES 2016 in Las Vegas last month that Samsung was working on OLED TVs, but it would not consider launching it any time soon because the OLED panel yield rate was still low and its TVs using quantum-dot display technology were good enough to compete with OLED TVs.
By Lee Seung-hoon
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