Samsung reportedly negotiating to buy LG Display's cheapest OLED panels

Mike Wheatley

More details have emerged of Samsung Electronics’ negotiations with LG Display over the purchase of more than a million OLED TV panels.


It has previously been reported that Samsung is looking to buy the OLED panels from LG with a view to launching its first regular White OLED TVs later this year. That would be in addition to its new QD-OLED TV, the Samsung S95B that was announced earlier.

Samsung has ended its long opposition to OLED TVs and wants to buy panels in bulk from LG Display, but it is playing hard ball in the negotiations, according to a report by The Elec.

The report says Samsung is trying to procure the cheapest panels in LG Display’s lineup. LG offers three tiers of OLED panels - the R series, P series and M series. R is the most premium panel with a maximum brightness of around 200 nits, whereas the P-series panels can achieve 180 nits and the M-series, around 150 nits, The Elec said.

It’s said that Samsung aims to procure up to two million of the cheaper panels so it can squeeze more profit from its first OLED TVs, sources privy to the negotiations told The Elec.

The display panels make up for around a third of the cost of manufacturing OLED TVs. Samsung believes it can use its status as the world’s number one TV brand to sell multiple units even with the cheapest panels on offer, the sources said.

So Samsung’s 2022 WOLED TVs would all apparently use the cheapest OLED display panels. LG Electronics, on the other hand, uses all three panels. The report didn’t say so, but we can assume the premium R-series OLED panels are used in its higher-end sets, such as the OLED G2 and maybe also the OLED C2.

During the negotiations, Samsung reportedly asked LG Display if it could produce more affordable R-series panels with higher brightness. However, LG Display will likely refuse to do so because it has been selling those panels at higher prices to both LG Electronics and Sony.

An earlier report from The Elec this week said Samsung is hoping to launch its new OLED TVs based on WOLED panels in September at the latest.