Samsung Display had originally planned to stop the production of LCD panels by the end of 2020, but it is now being reported that the plan has been slightly postponed. The company now plans to end the production of LCD panels at its L8 fab in the Asan plant by March 2021.
The reason behind this delay is being attributed to the current COVID-19 scenario and the recent rise in demand for LCD panels. It is being reported that the South Korean tech giant has informed its decision to the related companies. Samsung is also in talks with various companies to sell its equipment. The company will finalize the buyer by February 2021 and shut down the LCD production by March.
Samsung has been manufacturing LCD panels at its Asan plant in South Korea and its Suzhou plant in China. The company has already signed a contract to sell its Suzhou plant to CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology), a Chinese firm that makes LCD and OLED panels. Earlier this year, Samsung sold some of the equipment from its L8 plant to Efonlong, another Chinese display manufacturing firm.
The South Korean display giant is transitioning from LCD panels to Quantum Dot (QD-OLED) displays. The company recently announced its plan to invest around $11.7 billion until 2025 to expand its QD-OLED business. However, it would only be able to make 30,000 QD-OLED panels per month by the second half of 2021. That is enough for just two million 55-inch TVs per year (considering a 100% yield), but 200 million TVs are sold every year.
Experts believe that Samsung’s production capacity will improve as it keeps investing in its technology and related equipment. Samsung Visual Display business, which actually sells TVs, will reportedly not launch any QD-OLED TV next year as the idea of OLED has been against the company’s marketing strategy for the past 4-5 years, so the potential customers for Samsung Display’s QD-OLED panels could be Panasonic, Sony, and TCL.