Has Samsung admitted TV defeat? Reports suggest LG to supply Samsung with millions of OLED TV panels

  • 2 min read
  • May 17, 2023
Could Samsung be getting ready to bite the bullet and finally embrace traditional OLED?

LG OLED TV 2023 photo 1

After years of claiming OLED was better suited to the smaller screens of phones and tablets than TVs, Samsung finally jumped aboard the bandwagon last year with its own take on the technology - QD-OLED.

However, despite only being in their second year of production - and at the receiving end of fairly glowing reviews to boot - a report from Reuters suggests that the South Korean brand could be about to admit defeat, by cosying up with the display arm of its closest rival for its 2024 TV range.

Samsung has reportedly signed a deal with LG Display - which also works with the likes of LG Electronics, Sony and Panasonic - to supply it with two million OLED panels in 2024, with that number increasing to five million by 2026.

According to Reuters, the manufacturer will initially provide Samsung with 77- and 83-inch OLED panels, in a crucial deal that will help LG Display to return to profitability, following the post-pandemic sales slump.

Reuters confirms LG Display would be providing Samsung with traditional white OLED panels, sometimes referred to as 'WOLED', and not be producing the QD-OLED panels that Samsung has used in this year's S95C and S90C - panels which Sony has also used in its 2023 TV line up.

QD-OLED technology works in a similar way to traditional OLED, but uses a blue light at its source, in place of a white one. This is then passed through a layer of quantum dots - in effect blending the best bits of OLED with Samsung's long-championed QLED technology.

The benefits are pitched as a brighter picture with greater colour volume than traditional OLED could manage - the only problem being that OLED panels have also raised their game to stay competitive. In fact, the existence of QD-OLED has arguably forced some of the biggest strides forward in OLED performance history, and that can't be overlooked.

For Samsung to now ditch this technology for the competition would be a surprising move - and a bit of a shame too - considering how strongly it has lauded QD-OLED technology over the capabilities of traditional (W)OLED, and how well it has been received.

To have both technologies in its arsenal isn't impossible, of course, but feels like something of a nightmare to communicate to consumers. However, when we spoke to Samsung about its line-up this year, it stressed to us the importance of offering choice to its buyers. It was that desire that brought it to QD-OLED in the first place.

Could the larger screen sizes that LG Display is rumoured to be providing suggest QD-OLED is proving too expensive to make in bigger screen sizes? Is Samsung refocusing its own R&D into the very promising, but currently very expensive MicroLED? And would the use of an LG Display panel in a Samsung TV finally see the brand embrace Dolby Vision?

The answers to all of these questions remain to be seen, as does the validity of this report - LG and Samsung are yet to comment. If true, and QD-OLED is preparing to duck out just as it was getting started, we can't help but feel the TV landscape will be a little bit poorer without the competition it brought with it. Here's hoping Samsung has something else up its sleeve to keep the industry on its toes.