The benefits of OLED displays over LCD have been brought to consumers' attention time and time again for the past few years by a number of companies, but LCD displays are still being made. While OLED panels boast less energy consumption, deeper blacks, more durability, longer life and a number of other trump cards, many companies' factories are still outfitted to produce LCD screens, and they can make their way into a number of cheap products where they have a good chance of beating out OLED competition based solely on price, or on the few consumers who prefer LCD displays. For the most part, firms still manage to pull a profit from LCD screens, even as they begin their slow descent into obsolescence. One name in tech, however, has decided it's time to make the jump to an OLED-only production schedule. That name, of course, is Samsung.
As a first step of sorts, they began selling off or transitioning LCD factories in the past few years, flipping them to make way for OLED factories. An announcement made Monday affirms their resolve to get out of the LCD space entirely; their OLED business has become a completely separate arm of Samsung Display, and most of their workforce resides there. According to a corporate spokesperson, "Samsung is initiating an exit strategy for LCDs", calling them "unprofitable" and saying that they no longer hold any promise for the company's future or for profits. The representative pointed out that the LCD space has become flooded with cheap competition from China, which Samsung cannot match in price while still pulling a profit from their LCD manufacturing and sales.
Samsung Display is still producing LCDs mostly for Samsung's TV business, which is making a slow transition to OLED technology, favoring Quantum Dot LCDs for now. Samsung did not say exactly why they're being slow to pull the trigger on an OLED transition for TVs, but rumors peg patent issues as at least some part of the problem. Having posted an operating loss for Q1 2016 of 270 billion won, with a good chunk of that coming from their LCD business, it looks like Samsung's streamlining efforts will be effectively putting LCDs out to pasture, keeping them in use only where necessary and scaling down production as much as possible. On that note, a Samsung representative did say that Samsung Display may sell their remaining LCD business to Samsung Electronics as part of their streamlining efforts. If this move goes through, their break from LCD production will be a little bit easier, with a different department managing it.