Samsung strikes deal to buy 5M WOLED panels from LG Display
Samsung strikes deal to buy 5M WOLED panels from LG Display
By Mike Wheatley - 8 February 2024

Samsung Electronics has reportedly signed a new, five-year deal with LG display to buy millions of White OLED TV panels for its new range of OLED TVs that come in sizes ranging from 42-inches to 83-inches. 

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The company initially struck a deal with LG Display last year, buying up a few million WOLED panels to use in some of its S95C and S90C OLED televisions, and is now planning to use the company’s technology to offer a much wider range of sizes, Digitimes reported

The deal is what enabled Samsung to announce its first 42-inch and 48-inch OLED TVs, which are expected to hit the stores by the summer. 

Samsung’s Visual Display Business unit, which manufactures the company’s TVs, “has agreed to a long-term supply agreement with LG Display for the supply of LCD and OLED display panels,” said the research firm DSCC in a blog post this week. DSCC later confirmed the Digitimes report, saying that the deal expands upon the companies’ existing relationship that began last year. 

The agreement will see Samsung buy between 700,000 and 800,000 OLED panels from LG Display this year, with that number expected to grow to five million over the next five years. 

As with last year’s OLED TV range, Samsung once again intends to confuse consumers by mixing LG’s WOLED panels with its own QD-OLED panels in its premium 2024 televisions, which include the flagship Samsung S95D, the S90D (which succeed the S95C and S90C, respectively) as well as the all-new Samsung S85D model. The confusion is caused by the fact that Samsung simply refers to all of those models as “OLED TVs”, without specifying exactly which display tech is used in each one. 

DSCC said it’s likely that Samsung’s flagship S95D will mostly feature QD-OLED panels, though it has not yet confirmed that will be the case for every size. But it said its sources suggest that most of the displays supplied by LG Display will be standard White OLED panels, rather than its more advanced Micro Lens Array panels. As such, it’s hard to imagine Samsung putting a bog-standard panel in its higher end products. So the panels supplied by LG Display will almost certainly be destined for the S85D, and perhaps the S90D. 

For Samsung, the benefit is that it can meet consumer demand for its OLED TVs. At present, the company’s display making subsidiary Samsung Display can still only mass produce a limited number of QD-OLED panels each year, and it only builds them in a handful of different sizes. Hence it needs LG in order to offer consumers a wider range of OLED television sizes. 

LG meanwhile benefits from being able to sell more panels, and so the deal is good news for the company, following a decline in global OLED TV sales last year. 

Samsung’s contract with LG Display will also see it purchase around 5-6 million LCD TV panels, which are destined for its Neo QLED TV range.