Samsung will stop producing LCD panels as soon as next month, according to industry insiders cited by The Korea Times.
In 1991, a business unit called Samsung Display was formed to produce the panels used in products made by its parent company, Samsung Electronics. Afterward, it was a leading supplier of LCD panels not just for Samsung Electronics but for other companies in the industry as well.
But fierce competition from other suppliers like China’s BOE heavily impacted Samsung Display’s business. Once the world’s leading LCD panel manufacturer, Samsung Display’s market share has dropped to just 2 percent.
The business received a stay of execution when the pandemic led to a global surge in demand for consumer electronics, but that demand is now declining, and projections aren’t good for LCD panel revenue.
Add to that the fact that emerging technologies like QD-OLED are the future for TV and monitors, and the case for keeping Samsung Display’s LCD business going becomes a hard one to make.
It was previously reported that Samsung planned to sunset the business at the end of 2020, but The Korea Times claims that the faster-than-expected falloff in consumer demand accelerated the timeline.
Samsung Display will now focus heavily on OLED and quantum dot. Most of the employees working in the LCD business will move to quantum dot, the publication claims.
The Korea Times has accurately reported similar stories like this before, but it has also occasionally missed the mark, so keep an eye out for an official statement from Samsung.
Even if there isn’t a statement about a change in direction, the writing has been on the wall for Samsung’s LCD business. Unless something radical changes, it’s more a question of when than if at this point.