Samsung has become increasingly reliant on Chinese LCD panel makers

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics is embroiled in a lawsuit with China’s leading display make BOE Technology over OLED patents relating to Apple’s iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped the companies from continuing a very lucrative business involved LCD panels.


The companies continue to collaborate with one another, despite their heated arguments in court over other aspects of their business.

A report from Korean website The Elec, first spotted by FlatPanels HD, reveals that Samsung is still buying BOE’s LCD panels by the million. Indeed, the report shows that almost 60% of Samsung televisions are equipped with Chinese-made panels, and BOE is one of its biggest suppliers in that country.

The report is not a surprise. Samsung Display, the subsidiary of Samsung that manufacturers display panels, quit the LCD TV display industry entirely last year in order to focus on ramping up its production of the superior QD-OLED display technology. Samsung started selling QD-OLED TVs last year, though it notably labels them as regular “OLED” TVs. That’s because Samsung has now started buying WRGB OLED panels – a different technology – from LG Display, and will use both that company’s and its own panels to equip its new S95C and S90C OLED TVs.

But although OLED TVs are now arguably Samsung’s flagship models, the vast majority of TVs it sells remain LCD TVs, under its Neo QLED range. Because Samsung Display no longer makes those panels, Samsung has to source all of its LCD displays from China.

The Elec’s report provided a breakdown of the companies that supply LCD panels to Samsung, showing that TCL CSoT has the biggest market share at 26%, followed by HKC at 21% and Japan’s Sharp at 12%. BOE ranks as the fourth-biggest supplier of LCD displays with an 11% market share. It also continues to procure some LCD panels from LG Display.


Samsung is reportedly planning to purchase 38 million LCD TV panels this year, compared to just 34.2 million in 2022. However, this year’s figure is still lower than the 47 million LCD panels it procured annually in 2020 and 2021, when TVs sold like hot cakes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, Samsung Display is engaged in a bitter court dispute with BOE regarding its lucrative contract to provide smaller, iPhone-sized OLED displays to Apple.