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Samsung unveils OLED TV panels, but not QD-OLED TVs Pricing and yield likely be obstacles as latecomer to OLED market

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2022-01-19 08:14:47

이 기사는 2022년 01월 19일 08:12 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Samsung Electronics' highly anticipated quantum-dot organic light-emitting diode TV (QD-OLED TV) was absent from its introduction of its newest TV models at CES that kicked off earlier this month in Las Vegas, while its display affiliate unveiled OLED TV panels prior to the introduction of the TV, which is unusual in the industry.

The South Korean tech giant has focused much of its marketing efforts on criticizing white-OLED TVs (WOLED TVs) as it competes fiercely with its local rival LG Electronics. Samsung Electronics is adjusting the debut date of the QD-OLED TV model, aiming to release it in the overseas market first instead of the domestic market.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and CEO Han Jong-hee told reporters on January 5 that the QD-OLED TVs will be introduced after it secures enough display panels.

Samsung Display, the display panel-making arm of Samsung Group, produces 30,000 sheets of QD-OLED panels a month at its manufacturing plant in Asan, much less than LG Display’s 90,000 sheets per month.

At CES 2022, however, Samsung Display showcased its QD-OLED TV panels to clients and media. Industry insiders said it is unusual that a company reveals its display panels prior to the debut of its new TV model.

This decision has been made probably because the tech giant is a latecomer to the OLED market. The world’s largest tech show CES would be the company’s opportunity to show its OLED capabilities and technology on the global stage. Samsung Display is in a gradual transition to more profitable, high-end QD displays from liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

Latecomer to the OLED TV business

Pricing was also one of the hurdles that kept Samsung Electronics from unveiling its new QD-OLED TV model. The manufacturing cost of Samsung Electronics' QD-OLED TVs is about 30% higher than that of LG Electronics' WOLED TVs. The yield is said to be around 50%, lower than the break-even point of 60%. It is inevitable for the company to inject a large amount of money as it just kicked off the mass production.

In addition, logistics and raw material prices have continued to rise. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index recently broke through the 5,000 mark for the first time in its history. The index nearly doubled from 2,800 in January 2021.

Samsung Electronics' TV and monitor panel prices increased 68% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021. The average sale price of its TVs also rose 29% in the same period.

Being a latecomer to the OLED TV market, Samsung Electronics’ competitiveness will weaken if it tries to make profits in the QD-OLED TV business and raise a factory price of its products. The OLED TV market has been dominated by its rival LG Electronics since 2013.

Samsung Electronics plans to focus on securing profitability by expanding its premium TV lines. Samsung Electronics vice chairman Han Jong-hee said the company will ramp up its facilities in Vietnam, Mexico and Slovakia to increase the production volume of its top-premium MicroLED TVs. (Reporting by Hyun-ji Sohn)
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