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Samsung agrees to buy OLED TV panels from rival LG

Samsung has reportedly reached an agreement with fierce local rival LG for the latter to supply high-end OLED TV panels.

According to Reuters, South Korean giant Samsung has gone cap in hand to much smaller rival LG. Starting as soon as this quarter, LG Display will commence supplying high-end OLED TV panels to Samsung Electronic, likely starting with larger 77-inch and 83-inch white OLED (WOLED) TV panels.

As many as 2 million shipments are said to be planned for next year, while that figure could be boosted to 3 and 5 million over subsequent years.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumours of such a deal, but it sounds to be the most solid sign yet that something is in the works.

The report claims that the deal will help Samsung Electronic to turn profitable. The TV-producing Samsung division has been struggling at the lower end of the TV market against tough Chinese competition, so is said to be looking to bolster its high-end game.

This deal with LG could see Samsung overtaking Sony to become the second-largest OLED TV supplier in the world. It would still trail LG itself, which represents 54.6 percent of the market.

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Naturally, the deal would be of huge value to LG too. It would represent between 20 and 30 percent of its manufacturing capacity, max out its production lines, and bring an extra $1.5 billion into the business. Having been a loss making enterprise for four consecutive quarters, it would see the business returning to profitability.

It would be quite the turn-up for the books if accurate, with Samsung often seen as the OLED king. While Samsung might supply most of the smaller OLED panels in the business for things like mobile phones and smart watches, however, it has long struggled when the technology reaches flat screen TV-size.

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