Samsung Display next month will end production of LCD panels, as originally planned before the Covid-19 pandemic, to focus on new display technologies like QD-OLED, according to S. Korean news reports.

As a result, the company’s sister company Samsung Electronics will be fully dependent on third-party LCD panel producers, mostly in China and Taiwan, for its LED and mini LED-based LCD TV production.

Under previously reported plans Samsung Display was already in the process of phasing out LCD panel production, after some 30 years as one of the world’s largest suppliers of the technology, prior to the global pandemic. The original plan was to be out of the LCD panel business entirely by the end of 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 forced a delay in those plans after consumer demand for big-screen TVs unexpectedly spiked, as consumers were forced into government-imposed lockdowns.

According to reports in the Korea Herald and Korea Times this week, Samsung Display opted to end LCD panel production due to steadily declining profitability that has resulted from increased competition from large new factories in China and Taiwan.

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Instead of sourcing much of panel supply from Samsung Display, Samsung Electronics will now manufacturer LCD TVs, Neo QLED and QLED TVs from panel manufacturers including AUO, TCL’s China Star Opto-electronics Technology (CSoT), and BOE.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display will continue to ramp up production of QD-OLED panels for premium 4K and 8K TVs. Samsung Electronics is currently selling two “Quantum HDR” TV S95B models using Samsung Display’s so-called QD-OLED hybrid panel technology. Sony Electronics is also sourcing the QD-OLED panels from Samsung Display for a pair of QD-OLED 4K TVs due to reach market shortly.

Similar to Samsung Display, South Korean rival LG Display has also started reducing its production of LCD display plays, as LG Electronics continues to see growth in demand for its White OLED (WRGB) television sets.

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By Greg Tarr

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