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Samsung to make surprise return to making OLED TVs — thanks to LG

Samsung Neo QLED
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung might have turned to Korean rival LG to secure OLED panels for next year's TV range. The deal would see LG supply Samsung with one million panels in 2021 and 4 million in 2022. 

The news come via Korean Broadcaster MTN and tech site Sammobile. What’s surprising about this story is not that LG will supply the panels, as it’s the only company making this kind of OLED display in significant volumes. But that Samsung is even investigating OLED TVs for its range, rather than sticking to the proposed micro-LED and quantum dot OLED screens.

Samsung is reportedly planning its own production lines for the QD-OLED display tech, which merges quantum dot displays with OLEDs to lift brightness levels. It's an area that OLED does lose out to when compared with LCD screens with full array backlights. Getting more brightness out of an OLED would improve HDR quality and mean that OLED panels would potentially last a lot longer. 

If rumors of delayed QD-OLED displays are true, then there’s perhaps that's why Samsung is planning to use LG’s OLED panels to fill in the gap. Samsung may well have been planning both OLED and QD-OLED TVs all along and both are likely to be developed alongside the micro-LED panels that could bring about an even more radical shift in display technology. 

Given that Samsung does plan to close its LCD production facilities in Korea and move production of LCD-equipped TVs to China, it makes sense that the company is eyeing its next move. 

For consumers, this is potentially fantastic news. Selling more OLEDs will help LG finance improvements in production that will create even better screen tech. It will also drive down the cost of OLED screens as it’s able to improve production efficiency over time. 

Engadget quotes TrendForce in claiming that of 25 million panels shipped last year around eight million were OLED. LG provides panels for companies like Philips in Europe as well as Vizio in the US. Companies like Sony, Panasonic and, of course, LG itself, are also in the OLED TV business.