Despite general expectations for a decline in global TV sales next year, Samsung Electronics reportedly has plans to ship more than 40 million TVs in 2023, according to reports out of S. Korea last week.

Samsung Electronics is planning to ship 39 million units of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and up to 1.5 million units of organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs next year, electronics business trade site The Elec has reported.

All of Samsung Electronics’ OLED TVs are currently based on Samsung Display’s so-called “QD-OLED” — quantum dot/OLED hybrid — technology, which first launched in some TVs sold by both Samsung Electronics and Sony this year. The report further indicated that Samsung TV’s using LG Display’s more traditional White-OLED technology, which was at one-time rumored incorrectly to also be coming to Samsung’s branded TV lines this year, “have not been reflected in Samsung Electronics” TV business plan for 2023.

Samsung Electronic’s reported 2023 global TV shipment target reflects the long-time TV market share leader’s standing TV shipment minimum threshold of 40 million units, which has come to be known in global TV industry circles as a sort of “Maginot Line” for Samsung, The Elec said.

According to global display industry forecasts made in Q3-2022 from market research firm TrendForce, global TV shipments of all types from all brands are expected to decline slightly from an estimated 202 million units this year to 201 million units in 2023. Both Samsung and LG are also reportedly feeling the pinch from especially hampered TV purchase sentiment in Europe, where the impact from the Ukraine conflict is being felt especially hard as winter approaches.

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TrendForce TV shipment forecasts for 2022 changed several times over the course of this year, after starting out at 217 million units. But that was before the full impact of global freight delays, recurring China COVID 19 lockdowns, climbing inflation rates, a demand hangover from heavy TV purchasing in 2020 and 2021, and the growing war in Ukraine had a withering impact on TV demand leading to growing inventories around the world.

In terms of where all of the LCD TV display panels Samsung will require is to come from, the report said TCL-owned China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSoT), a major display panel fabricator in China and a primary panel supplier to Samsung Electronics, reportedly will be tapped to produce more than 10 million LCD panel units next year.

Last year, CSOT purchased Samsung Display’s Suzhou LCD factory and its LCD patents after Samsung Display ended its large format LCD panel production. Through the deal, Samsung Display garnered an equity stake in CSOT.

Other reported planned LCD TV panel production sources for next year include: HKC with 8 million units; LG Display with 4 million units; BOE with 4 million units, and AUO with 4 million units.

The report cautioned that if CSOT fails to supply all of 50-inch and 75-inch panels that are planned, the amounts of each panel maker may change.

BOE’s share in Samsung Electronics’ LCD TV panel production is expected to drop from 2nd place last year to 3rd place this year and 4th place next year, the report said.

In May, market research firm Omdia predicted that BOE would supply 6.8 million LCD TV panels to Samsung Electronics this year, reflecting the situation in the first quarter. The amount was down from the 8 million units BOE reportedly delivered to Samsung Electronics last year.

Samsung Electronics also had aggressive TV targets going into this year, but ended up temporarily changing and eventually halting some orders and changing targets as consumer demand for televisions declined around the world. This came in the wake of rising inflation, the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the shutdown of nuclear power plants in France and other factors.

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By Greg Tarr

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