Samsung Display and LG Display have been planning to change over or close up existing LCD lines and shift almost exclusively to OLED panel production for some time, but plans to have it happen some time in the first half of this year have reportedly been pushed out. The decision comes amid unexpectedly high demand for LCD panels, especially in the areas of large consumer-targeting TVs, along with specialty products for the IT field. Along with the high demand, naturally, both firms have their own reasons for deciding to continue producing LCD panels as they have been for just a little bit longer. Neither company announced a timeline for when they may actually start tapering down LCD production, essentially saying that they will continue to monitor the situation.
The increased demand is not only the result of unexpected surges of popularity among key LCD products, but also an ongoing LCD shortage that was predicted to only plague the market until the second quarter of the year. Well into the second quarter, however, reports say that the shortages continue. For Samsung's part, they have stopped receiving LCD panels from Sharp, which means that they will have to fulfill all of their LCD orders using their own means of production. Research firm IHS Market sees the situation as a flex arrangement, saying that the imbalance between supply and demand in the industry may get as high as 10% before it's all said and done.
LG Display's LCD plants that were due to start the closing down process during this quarter include plants in their 3.5th generation lineup, their 4th generation lineup, and their 5th generation lineup. According to IHS Market, these are all types of LCD plants that have lost production efficiency recently, and are projected to become even less efficient as processes evolve further and products become more advanced. Samsung Display, meanwhile, had planned to shutter or convert plants that were in their 6th and 7th generation LCD production lines. Given the recent fluxuation and unexpected surges in the LCD market, it's anybody's guess as to how Samsung Display and LG Display will approach eventually halting LCD production.