Quantum dots taking over OLED at Samsung

May 04, 2016 // By Julien Happich
The Korea Herald reports that Samsung Electronics president and TV chief Kim Hyun-seok expressed its doubts about OLED ever reaching mass production TV status at Samsung.

"I wouldn’t say OLED is our future direction,” he reportedly told the press at the company’s headquarters in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, talking about HD TV. 

While OLED have many benefits over conventional liquid-crystal displays and have been widely adopted for small screens (smartphones and tablets), their higher cost of production on large panels still make OLED TVs an expensive proposition for the average consumer.

Although Samsung is a market leader in smaller OLED panels, shipping them not only with its own smartphones but also to smartphone competitor Apple, the company does not see a future for OLED on larger panels, spending more R&D for quantum dot – based TVs. “It is also likely that new technology like quantum dot could progress faster than OLED,” Hyun-seok reportedly said.

Among the company's claims, its quantum dot TV would already offer superior picture quality and brightness compared to current OLED TVs. Samsung plans to launch quantum dot TV models globally over the summer, leaving OLED as what it considers a too costly alternative for mass adoption.

Competitors LG Electronics and Panasonic are commercializing OLED in high end TVs, yet both companies have already demonstrated 4K ULTRA HD TVs using quantum dot technology and it may be a matter of years before OLED exits the TV business altogether.

In the meantime, with large size OLED TVs retailing in the thousands of euros, there may still be room for some bucks to be made. Interviewed by CNET, Panasonic's TV business division director Masahiro Shinada remained confident that as OLED TVs get cheaper, they will become within reach of average consumers in a few years' time.

Though, how cheap will be cheap enough if quantum dots offer better yields and are able to tackle the economics of OLED? And will that only apply to large screens? The future will tell.


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