After years of pushing its QLED technology, Samsung is finally trying to embrace more affordable TV panels. Not only did Samsung launch a QD-OLED TV in March, but it entered negotiations to buy cheaper W-OLED panels from LG. Unfortunately, Samsung’s affordable OLED TVs are now on the back burner.
LG’s W-OLED technology is fairly affordable and curbs some of the burn-in risk that we see with standard OLED panels. Rumors suggest that Samsung would use W-OLED technology to sell cheap OLEDs, likely at the same price of its current LCD TV lineup.
But as reported by Korea Bizwire, LG Display shot down hopes for a cheap Samsung OLED during its July 28th earnings call. LG Display CFO Kim Sung-hyun explained, “Our new client (Samsung Electronics) had sought to use our OLED panels… While there had been some progress, the process has come to a halt at the moment.”
This isn’t much of a surprise. Samsung and LG reportedly had trouble striking a deal in May, and today’s economic uncertainty means that both companies are reevaluating their business. If demand for smart TVs is falling, which appears to be the case, then flooding the market with cheap Samsung OLEDs may not be the best idea. At least, not until Samsung can clear its stock of affordable LCDs.
To be clear, we don’t know what happens behind closed doors. But demand for consumer technology is down, and several companies are struggling to adapt after two years of peak demand. Samsung’s smartphone division, for example, appears to have an oversupply of cheap A-series phones.