Samsung Electronics is expected to start producing more OLED TV market in 2017 at the earliest as costs will be cut thanks to improvements in key materials that are used in OLED TV sets.
"I know Samsung doesn't want LG to gain more share in OLEDs. Samsung is more than just considering OLEDs, it's committed to producing them," Brian Daniels, senior vice president from performance materials-advanced technologies division at Merck, said in an interview with The Korea Times at the Merck headquarters last week. The executive remained confident that costs in materials will be cut. "The timing of Samsung's advance into the OLED TV market won't happen until next year. We expect OLED TV panels could reach large volume by 2017," the executive added.
Merck is a global leader in materials in large-sized OLED panels. Currently, LG Display, the world's biggest display manufacturer, is relying on Merck's OLED materials tech.
Daniels highlighted advantages of inkjet OLED printing technology, which is more cost-effective than older OLED printing methods.
Current OLED methods rely on evaporation processes, in which the organic materials are deposited onto a glass sheet through a thin metal stencil, also known as a "shadow mask." This process is problematic as a significant amount of the material is wasted because it disperses all over the mask, in addition to inherent mask changes which expose the sheet to dust and compromise yields.
But inkjet OLED printing allows precision deposits without the use of a mask. It also produces less stray particles, thus boosting yields.
Samsung plans to promote OLED TVs in order to catch up with leaders such as LG Display.
At this year's IFA, OLED technology was the main theme for all leading TV manufacturers except for Samsung. LG CEO Han Sang-beom said OLED tech will change people's day-to-day lives.
Panasonic has already released its new OLED TVs.
LG expects its television business will turn profitable from the third quarter of this year as the world's No. 2 TV manufacturer expects its latest models introduced during the second quarter will help boost its sales and profits.
In an attempt to regain the market share that it lost to Chinese rivals, the executive said LG plans to release its advanced flat-screen LCD TV using quantum dot tech.
As fas as OLED is concerned, LG plans to implement an aggressive pricing strategy to boost the industry. The company said during IFA that by the latter half, an OLED TV will cost 40 percent more than an LCD TV with the same size. By 2016, LG said that consumers would pay 20 percent more to purchase an OLED TV than LCD TV with the same size.
The TV market is dominated by South Korean makers but but Chinese LCD display manufacturers is threatening them. In case of OLED, however, is a lot more difficult to make as this technology is still in its early stage.