[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Display is likely to roll out large-size OLED panels for TVs at a production line where it had initially planned to produce displays for Apple’s iPhone X, a local analyst forecast on March 22.
“Instead of installing flexible OLED facilities for iPhone X at the A5 plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, the display maker will likely set up a line for large-size OLED panels (for TVs) there,” Jeong Seok-won, an analyst from HI Investment & Securities, told The Investor.
The display unit of tech giant Samsung Electronics announced last July that it would invest to build the A5 plant, which was designed to churn out flexible OLEDs for iPhone X. The construction plans, however, have been in a stalemate since the US phone maker has nearly halved the production volume amid lukewarm sales.
The analyst said the shortage of production sites is the main reason behind the anticipated switch to large-size OLEDs. “The A5 plant is the only space that Samsung can utilize for OLED TV display production,” said Jeong.
Samsung Display has recently been throwing more weight behind its OLED TV panel business amid slowing LCD sales.
A 300-member OLED TV team was formed to conduct R&D projects from this month, signaling that Samsung may reenter the OLED TV segment, having first launched OLED TVs in 2012 and then gradually exited.
Samsung has long denied that it is developing OLED TVs, saying it is focusing on the TV business utilizing QLED and LED displays.
Market analysts forecast the electronics giant has no choice but to launch a new type of OLED TV in order to catch up crosstown rival LG Electronics, which has long taken the lead in the segment. Samsung Display is expected to work in tandem.
“After rolling out QLED panels utilizing a glass light guide plate later this year, Samsung Display is considering an OLED TV panel fitted with a quantum dot color filter as the next step,” said Alex Kang, a principal analyst from IHS Markit, at a display conference held in Seoul on March 21.
Glass LGP is a crucial part of the backlight unit and allows TVs to be slimmer than a plastic LGP.
“Samsung Display’s transition from LCD TV panels to OLED can take place in a much faster manner than LGD,” he added.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)