Report: Samsung nixes plans to launch W-OLED TVs this year

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics has cancelled its plans to launch a new series of OLED TVs that use rival LG Display’s White-OLED panels, according to a report in The Elec.


While it was previously thought that Samsung was negotiating to try and buy LG’s W-OLED panels at a cheaper price, The Elec said Samsung has lost interest in a 2022 launch due to lower demand for the technology.

The report explained that consumer TV demand has slipped from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While events such as the Qatar World Cup 2022 and the inauguration of South Korea’s new President Yun Seok-yul were believed to be incentives for the company to launch W-OLED TVs this year, Samsung reportedly thinks the market has declined to the point where a launch this year doesn’t make sense.

Samsung first began negotiating with LG Display to buy its W-OLED panels last year but the talks have been drawn out and now overtaken by other events. TV display prices were much higher last year due to supply issues, but have since declined, meaning the company has less incentive to launch new TV products this year.

At the same time, The Elec reported that Samsung wanted LG Display to commit to co-developing its W-OLED technology going forward, as a condition of any deal. LG Display was apparently not receptive to this proposal, as such an agreement would mean limitations over how it can use and sell the technology in future.

Samsung’s decision to postpone the launch of W-OLED TVs means that LG Display will have to adjust its sales targets for this year, the report added. The company had previously set a target of 10 million unit shipments, banking on the fact it expected to sell around two million units to Samsung. However, the failure to do a deal with Samsung means LG is now left with an overstocked inventory of W-OLED panels.

Samsung Electronics is still to decide how many QD-OLED panels it will purchase from its subsidiary Samsung Display. With its W-OLED plans now cancelled, it could well purchase more of the panels that power its first-ever OLED TV, the Samsung S95B.

That decision has been complicated by the recent revelation that Samsung Display has postponed plans to launch a pilot production run of its new quantum dot nanorod LED (QNED) displays, which are slated as the company’s next-generation premium display technology. With QNED now delayed, Samsung may well be forced to sell more QD-OLED TVs in the interim, The Elec said.