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Will Sony Launch A QD-OLED TV Before Samsung After Family Squabble

Samsung has a billion-dollar dilemma, that could affect their TV strategy going forward according to reports coming out of South Korean.

The issue is their new QD-OLED technology which at this stage is expensive to produce with Samsung Display already spending over US$11 Billion to date.

The problem is that for Samsung to invest further they need certainty that there is a premium market out there for the technology.

Currently Samsung Electronics buys their panels from a separate division called Samsung Display, and this division is not prepared to compromise on price because of the investment they have already made.

According to local sources there is currently no plans to bring the new display technology to Australia but if prices drop it could be ranged in the future.

Currently Samsung Electronics is said to be petitioning to pay a price equivalent to what its primary competitor, LG Displays, charges for its own standard OLED panels.

As a result, Samsung Electronics is considering delaying the release of its QD-OLED models, which had been expected to launch later this year in Asia, the USA and Europe.

Currently Samsung Electronics isn’t the only brand purchasing screens from Samsung Display. At CES 2022 Sony showed off a A95K QD-OLED TV.

If Samsung Electronics does pull out releasing their scheduled QD-OLED TV’s Sony will be first manufacturer to actually release a Samsung manufactured QD-OLED TV.

Currently Samsung Display is looking for a considerable return on its new display technology.

However, the company is said to be struggling with a low production yield rate of around 30% and is considering either investing in production with a view to boosting yield rates or “holding off” until such times as it can properly gauge “customer reaction to QD-OLED”.

The Elec claims that even if Samsung Display does throw a big bundle of cash at the problem, QD-OLED capacity could “remain limited at 30,000 Gen 8.5 substrates monthly until the end of 2023”.
The most recent report from The Elec suggests that Samsung was planning to buy 500,000 QD-OLED panels from Samsung Display, with the latter pricing each unit at about $100 more than LG Display’s WOLED panels.

The yield rate for the front-end processes of the production, which includes deposition, came down to 30% the ultimate yield rate, when including back-end processes such as modularization, was even lower, the sources said.

This means Samsung Display’s production capacity for QD-OLED will likely remain 30,000 substrates per month next year, same as in 2022, they said.

This is because even if an investment review was conducted during the second half of this year, Samsung Display will only be able to activate new production lines in 2024 at the earliest to expand production capacity, they said.

Theoretically, as QD-OLEDs are simpler in design and use fewer materials, manufacturing costs could eventually drop to below that of OLEDs, potentially making them cheaper to buy in the long run.

The Elec suggests that Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong, who oversees the entire business, may need to step in to resolve the issues between the squabbling factions. As a key proponent of Samsung’s U-turn on OLED technology, Lee is said to be heavily vested in the venture’s success and has visited Samsung Display’s QD-OLED plant on multiple occasions.

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