LG Asks Samsung to Join OLED Effort

LG Display has officially reached out to Samsung Display, asking its rival to join the race to efficiently develop large-size OLED panels, in order to beat rising competition from China.

At a meeting of CEOs in Seoul last week, LGD CEO Han Sang-beom said, “Samsung Display will join with LG… I believe this issue is a matter of timing”, according to the Korea Times.

Han clarified that LGD’s OLED plans will not be affected by this move. “LG’s plan to increase investment in our two key Korean plants – one in Paju and the other one in Gumi – won’t change”, he said. Han also added that the company is “in the process of doing some ground works” for the new P10 plant in Paju.

Park Dong-geun, CEO of SDC, said that the company “is trying hard to fine-tune OLED technologies… We are reviewing the marketability of the OLED TV market. However, no decisions have been made so far”.

The Bank of Korea estimates that Korea’s lead over China in display technology was narrowed from 4.2 years in 2008 to 2.9 years in 2014. The gap will disappear by next year.

Samsung and LG introduced their first OLED TVs at CES 2012Analyst Comment

Samsung, when it was in the OLED TV market, used RGB OLEDs, which were more efficient than LGD’s WOLED/WRGB (white OLED with colour filter) system, but also more expensive to produce. There were also major issues with OLED patterning. Back in 2013, a cross-licensing deal seemed likely (Display Monitor Vol 20 No 09), but that faded with Samsung’s withdrawal from the OLED TV market. (TA)