Samsung to launch Micro LED TVs using Chinese LEDs
Opts against company's own LED supply business
Samsung is planning to launch Micro LED TVs using technology developed by a manufacturer in China, rather than utilising its own LED business, according to a report in the Korean media.According to sources reporting to ETNews, Samsung recently made a ‘strategic partnership’ with Sanan OptoElectronics giving Samsung exclusivity on purchasing Sanan’s Micro LEDs for a period of three years. It is understood that Samsung has put its money where its mouth is by making an advance payment of about $17 million (£12.27 million).
Having an extensive supply of the LEDs necessary to manufacturer a Micro LED will be important to Samsung if it is to fully commercialise its Micro LED TVs, publicised at CES 2018, given you reportedly need around 2,600 per Ultra HD panel, and with 8K TVs on the horizon, that number will only rise.
Samsung’s apparent decision to opt for a Chinese manufacturer, rather than use its own LED business, has understandably been raising concerns in the Korean media who now fear that China will take away as much of the Micro LED business as it did the ‘conventional’ LED one. Samsung’s LED business has recently been affected by the apparent over-saturation of the market and by the abundance of ‘cheap Chinese’ panels. It was thought, that Micro LED would be an opportunity for Samsung’s LED supply business to reclaim some profit margin but this deal would fly in the face of that notion.
“It is heard that Sanan Optoelectronics ordered 150 MOCVD (Metal-Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition) equipment, which are equipment necessary for manufacturing LEDs, at the end of last year for its partnership with Samsung Electronics.” said a representative for a South Korean LED business. “There is not a business in South Korea that can make such a large-scale investment.”
According to a market research company called Markets&Markets, it is estimated that the size of micro LED markets will grow by 54.7% annually on average from $250 million in 2017 to $19.92 billion in 2025.
“We made a partnership with Sanan Optoelectronics to commercialize micro LED.” said Samsung Electronics. “However, we are also looking to work with other companies as well when necessary.”
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