Samsung has halted negotiations on LG Display's OLED panels

Mike Wheatley

Talks over Samsung Electronics’ proposed acquisition of some two million OLED TV display panels from LG Display have reportedly stalled, meaning it’s unlikely we’ll see any new OLED TVs arriving from Samsung this year.


LG Display’s chief financial officer Kim Sung-hyun told analysts during his company’s second-quarter earnings call that talks with Samsung have come to an impasse, Korea Bizwire reported.

“Our new client (Samsung Electronics) had sought to use our OLED panels,” Sung-hyun said. “While there had been some progress, the process has come to a halt for the moment.”

It was reported back in mid-2021 that Samsung was looking to buy two million M-grade White OLED panels from LG Display to coincide with the launch of its own, more advanced QD-OLED displays, which went on sale earlier this year. Reports at the time said Samsung was planning on selling 1.5 million new OLED TVs based on LG Display’s White OLED panels, alongside its own S95B QD-OLED TV. The S95B would have been Samsung’s premium OLED model, with the LG-supplied displays being used in cheaper models.

However, last May it was reported that Samsung was beginning to lose interest in the idea of buying OLED panels from its rival.

Reports at the time said Samsung may have thrown a spanner in the works by asking LG Display to co-develop White OLED technologies going forward. At the same time, Samsung was said to have demanded a cheaper price for LG’s panels because it was buying in bulk. LG Display wouldn’t budge on this though, as it would have meant selling them at an even lower price than what its own sister company, LG Electronics, pays for the panels.

No doubt, Samsung’s thinking was guided by the recent global downturn in TV sales. Like every consumer electronics industry this year, the TV sector has seen lower demand due to macroeconomic pressures and higher inflation that has held back consumer spending. Recent reports suggest Samsung is struggling to hit its sales targets for its 2022 LCD TVs.

LG Display’s White OLED panels are used in the vast majority of the world’s OLED TVs. The company has for a long time been the world’s only supplier of the technology (though that is reportedly set to change). White OLED uses an extra white subpixel layer to boost brightness in addition to RGB filters. Samsung Display’s QD-OLED technology uses a different approach and is more expensive to manufacture. Moreover, the company cannot match LG Display's production output, though it is looking at ways to improve its manufacturing yields. That said, Samsung Display will offer more sizes next year, with new 49-inch and 77-inch QD-OLED panels in addition to the existing 55- and 65-inch panels it already sells.

With negotiations put on hold, that pretty much puts an end to the hope that Samsung might launch a cheaper OLED TV later this year. However, there is a chance that they might be on the menu at some point in future, with sources telling Korea Bizwire that talks between Samsung and LG Display may resume somewhere down the line.