Global TV market share leader Samsung is reportedly calling upon an old resource for LCD panels as it shuts down internal panel production through it Samsung Display manufacturing unit that is shifting focus to hybrid quantum dot OLED (QD-OLED), MicroLED panels and other technologies for television sets.

We previously relayed reports out of South Korea that Samsung Display was moving to end production of LCD flat-panels in its domestic market by the end of the year. More recently the company has indicated it is now ending LCD panel production in other countries as well. This doesn’t mean the end of QLED or other LCD TVs coming from the Samsung Electronics TV manufacturing and marketing company in 2021 and beyond, however.

As Samsung Display shifts to next-generation display panel technologies, Samsung Electronics will source LCD panels for its quantum dot LED and LED-LCD televisions from LCD dipslay resource Sharp Corp., the Japanese electronics manufacturer now majority controlled by Taiwan’s Foxconn. Samsung will get LCD panels for other displays and devices it makes from additional Asian-based manufacturers.

According to a report by trade resource Digitimes Wednesday, Samsung is shifting large format LCD panel suppliers to Sharp as its primary panel source for TV-sized panels after Samsung Display ends LCD production at the end of 2020 due to decline profitability. Samsung Electronics had previously used the Japanese-based LCD panel maker as an LCD panel resource several years ago when supplies were tight or unavailable internally for certain screen sizes.

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But Sharp had not supplied LCD TV panels to Samsung since Taiwan-based Foxconn acquired majority control of Sharp in 2017.

That relationship, which toward the end had been somewhat contentious as Foxconn chairman Terry Gao sought to leverage higher prices for certain screens in short supply, is now back on, apparently in a bigger way than ever. According to reports, Samsung apparently will rely heavily on Sharp for most of its TV panel needs. The report did not indicate where Samsung plans to acquire smaller LCD display panels for other devices it produces.

In the meantime, Samsung Display is advancing its production of its hybrid quantum dot OLED display panels and microLED panels for next-generation television technologies that will afford greater profitability at a time when new large 10.5-gen. LCD panel plants in China and elsewhere are churning out greater volumes of LCD panels.

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By Greg Tarr

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