Samsung announced it would discontinue manufacturing liquid crystal display (LCD) screens by the end of this year on Monday. However, the South Korean conglomerate confirmed it would fulfill all of its outstanding LCD orders.
The company’s display segment intends to develop quantum light-emitting diodes (QLED) technology for use in its televisions.
Why Samsung is Pulling Out of the LCD Market
Samsung is ending production of LCD television displays because the sector is not very profitable anymore. Because of increased competition from Chinese manufacturers, the price of LCD panels has dropped worldwide. Besides, shipments of LCD TVs declined by millions of units in 2018 and 2019. Conversely, the LED market grew by 34.7 percent last year due to consumer demand for their superior sharpness and vibrancy.
In January, the company’s long-time rival LG announced it would cease making LCD TV panels in South Korea by the end of the year.
Samsung’s decision to follow its competitor’s footsteps isn’t particularly surprising; the company suspended two of its LCD production lines last October. The corporation also indicated its interest in moving forward when it committed $10.72 billion to research QLED technology and upgrading its manufacturing facilities.
Why Samsung Believes the Future is in QLED
QED displays are powered by semiconducting nanoparticles called quantum dots that glow when light passes through them. Quantum dots are highly customizable, and manufacturers can design them to emit specific shades of colors. The nanoparticles are also highly stable, meaning the vibrancy of their output doesn’t degrade as quickly as other display technologies.
Manufacturers can arrange an array of quantum dots on a film sheet to create a brilliant and colorful device display.
Samsung believes QLED represents a level of innovation that can crack through consumer apathy. Indeed, the corporation rolled out a handsome number of 4K and 8K QLED TV sets in early March. By discontinuing its production of LCD screens, the firm has gone all-in on quantum dot powered displays.
The conglomerate is also hard at work on researching new ways to utilize the technology. Although Sony released the first commercial QLED television set back in 2013, Samsung has since secured over 170 quantum dot patents. However, consumers won’t be able to purchase boldly revamped TVs anytime soon.
Samsung’s current line of QLED TV still uses LCD screens to illuminate the quantum dots. Last year, the corporation revealed it had developed a method of producing QLEDs that didn’t require an outside light source. However, the firm didn’t outline a deployment timeline for its new technology.
Furthermore, the conglomerate told The Verge its current line of QLED televisions will still utilize LCD screens, meaning the corporation will need outside suppliers in the future. The company uses a combination of LED and LCD panels in its smartphones.
So, while Samsung’s display unit is winding down its production of LCD panels, its consumer products division will still use the technology. However, its change in manufacturing methodology suggests a genuinely game-changing advancement in television is coming sooner rather than later.