Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong, has reportedly ordered a review for the restoration of the company’s OLED TV business after its operation was discontinued in 2015. According to a new report by Business Korea, citing industry sources within the Korea business community, Lee instructed the South Korean tech giant to reinstate its OLED TV division after he was apprised of the current state of affairs at the company following his release from prison earlier this month.
The Korean conglomerate decided to end the production of new OLED TVs three years ago as part of an effort to shift its focus on 4K Ultra HD LCD panels and QLED TVs. Samsung deemed at the time that the cost of producing OLED panels for TV was too high, so the company then decided to just wait until the development of a type of printing method to mass-produce OLED panels at lower cost is completed. That move left LG Electronics as the sole manufacturer of OLED TVs in South Korea, with the South Korean electronics giant having since ramped up its investments in OLED panels and products. In fact, LG Display said last month that it plans to invest around 20 trillion won, or $18.8 billion, in its OLED business by 2020, adding that as the investment comes a bit early it might require some financing aid to fulfill that goal.
Meanwhile, everything that Samsung has been doing over the past couple of years has been to boost its campaign meant to lure more consumers into patronizing the QLED TV technology and encouraging them to drift away from OLED panels for anything other than mobile devices. While Samsung has been making significant strides into OLED displays for mobile devices and smartwatches, the company believes the technology is not suitable for television sets because the displays are centered around organic materials, adding that OLED panels are not practical for TVs since the light-emitting diodes are organically derived compared to traditional LEDs. While at that, Samsung has increasingly been promoting the QLED technology, having launched a 146-inch MicroLED TV called The Wall at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It’s still a sort of QLED TV which uses artificial intelligence to deliver 8K content. The restoration of Samsung’s OLED TV business, however, does not necessarily mean the end of its focus on QLED TV panels.