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Samsung’s AMOLED Reliance Affecting LCD Manufacturers

June 12, 2015 - Written By Nick Sutrich

The push to get AMOLED displays in all devices at all times started many, many years ago when Samsung pushed the first AMOLED panels out to their Galaxy lineup of phones.  Once relegated to only the premium segment of the market Samsung’s AMOLED business has expanded to the lower end as well, slowly edging out the cheaper LCD panels for higher quality AMOLED ones.  Given how many different phones Samsung makes it’s no surprise that this move to using Samsung AMOLED panels over LCD ones produced by other companies in South Korea and beyond is starting to affect the local economy as orders for cheaper LCD panels continue to slow down, a trend that really starting bumping up in 2014.

Specifically looking at the numbers Samsung made purchases valued at KRW2.6 trillion in 2013, with the numbers dropping to KRW2.2 trillion in 2014.  This year they’re expected to drop under KRW2 trillion as a whole, meaning Samsung is spending less than $2 billion USD on panels from other makers, instead opting to use their own panels in place.  We’ve seen this leading up to the Galaxy S6, which uses significantly more Samsung in-house components than any other major Samsung phone before it.  Of course the line from Samsung executives isn’t about cost-cutting or keeping things in-house, rather that Samsung’s components are just plain better than the competition and Samsung doesn’t want to settle for second-rate.

Whether or not this is all true is another story, but AMOLED panels are here to stay and will be becoming more prevalent on even the less expensive Samsung phones this year, likely continuing the trend into 2016 as well.  We’re also seeing this move on tablets as Samsung produces larger AMOLED panels, as the most recent crop of Samsung tablets has shown.  In addition to this OLED TVs are Samsung’s newest big product on the market, with a huge push in the beginning of the year at CES.  Samsung has positioned themselves to be the world’s foremost display manufacturer for a long time, producing components that other OEMs just can’t match but hopefully not getting to the point where they shove off all their competition either, for the market’s sake.