South Korea slowly losing its grip on LCD TV market

Mike Wheatley

TV industry market research firm Omdia’s latest analysis shows that TCL and Hisense have surpassed LG Electronics by purchasing more LCD TV panels in the first quarter of the year. While Samsung Electronics remains the market leader, TCL and Hisense ranked second and third, respectively, with LG dropping into fourth place.


The analysis suggests that competition between Chinese TV manufacturers is heating up, with TCL and Hisense accounting for 24% of all LCD TV panel purchases in the first quarter of 2023, compared to just 22% one year earlier, Omdia said.

Over the past decade, Samsung has been the world’s biggest buyer of LCD TV panels by some distance, purchasing 18% of the entire industry’s supply in 2021. However, it’s notable that Samsung’s share of LCD TV panel purchases fell to just 13% in the first quarter of 2023. According to Omdia display analyst Deborah Yang, TCL and Hisense’s growing volume has implications, because it means that the two Chinese firms now have similar purchasing bargaining power. “However, despite less competition from Korean panel makers on LCD TV panels, the bleak demand forecasts for the global LCD TV market continue to weigh on Chinese panel makers,” Yang said.

Omdia’s report also noted the strength of Chinese LCD TV panel producers. It said 76% of the LCD TV panels bought by TCL and Hisense in 2022 came from Chinese manufacturers such as BOE, CEC-Pando, CSOT, ChinaStar and HKC Display, up from 73% in 2021 and just 58% in 2019.

The main reason that Chinese panel makers are growing their market share is that Korean display makers LG Display and Samsung Display are transitioning away from the LCD TV panels market. Samsung no longer makes any LCD TV panels at all, while LG has drastically reduced its output and is expected to quit the market for good soon.

However, Omdia’s report says their withdrawal from the LCD TV display manufacturing market will cause significant difficulties for Samsung and LG’s TV businesses, as they are now forced to rely on Chinese suppliers. They’re also moving away from LCD with their high-end TVs to focus on new technologies like WOLED and QD-OLED. As a result, they’re buying fewer LCD TV panels than before, and losing their volume-based purchase bargaining power.

“LCD TV panel allocations are expected to change dramatically as well as the competitive landscape for global TV manufacturers, amid global inflationary issues that will prove even more challenging for global premium TV players,” Yang said.

As such, Omdia believes it’s looking increasingly likely that Samsung may finally be unseated from its throne as the world’s number one TV manufacturer.