Samsung admits defeat and reportedly inks deal for LG’s OLED TV panels

Samsung has reportedly signed a deal for LG’s OLED TV panels. Reuters reports that LG Display will supply high-end 77- and 83-inch white OLED panels to Samsung in a deal that could help it turn a profit amid fierce competition in LCD panels from Chinese rivals.

This is the first time Samsung has purchased OLED panels from its South Korean rival after years of rumors around similar deals. It’s also a huge admission of defeat after Samsung stopped making OLED TVs in 2015, citing the high costs of the panels in a miscalculation that the market wouldn’t be ready for such high-end TVs. Samsung pushed ahead with its cheaper but inferior QLED TVs — a variation of LED LCD — but OLED models have dominated the premium market.

LG has more than 50 percent market share of lucrative OLED TVs

Samsung has returned to OLED recently with its first QD-OLED TV launched last year and Samsung Display supplying OLED panels for Sony’s first QD-OLED TV. Reuters reports that LG Display will supply 2 million OLED panels to Samsung in 2024, 3 million in 2025, and then 5 million in 2026.

LG has grabbed more than 50 percent market share of OLED TVs with Sony at 26 percent and Samsung at just 6 percent, according to market research from Omdia.

The deal comes at an ideal time for LG Display after it admitted there had been a “sluggish demand” for TVs and lower than expected OLED TV panel sales in its recently quarterly earnings.

The timing is also good for Samsung Electronics after the company had another terrible quarter following weaker semiconductor demand and a cut to memory chip production. While Samsung has dominated the global TV market for 17 years in a row, it has faced tough competition from Chinese rivals with cheaper LCD TVs. It now clearly sees the high margin opportunity it missed with big OLED TVs.