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Samsung LCD flat panel division making a loss, may be spun off in favor of OLED

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Samsung is considering restructuring its LCD flat panel production arm in response to weak demand and increasing competition from cheaper Chinese firms.

Gallery Photo: Samsung's 2012 TV lineup photos
Gallery Photo: Samsung's 2012 TV lineup photos

The trouble that Sony and Panasonic find themselves in — being unable to break even from the sale of their traditionally popular TV sets — stems mostly from overwhelming price competition on the part of Korean giants Samsung and LG. It may surprise you to find, however, that Samsung isn't making any money out of the business either. Reuters today reports that the future of Samsung's loss-making LCD flat panel manufacturing arm is being considered. Faced with even cheaper competitors coming out of China and a waning demand for LCD panels, Samsung has openly admitted that it's "internally reviewing various options but nothing has been decided yet."

A report in the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo suggests that Samsung may decide to completely spin off its LCD production facilities, while analysts cited by Reuters are more inclined to believe that the company will retool some of its LCD plants and use them to expand its OLED-making capacity. In either case, Samsung sounds very bullish on the chances of OLED panels replacing LCD as the next great driver of growth in display technology — a confidence that has also been affirmed by the company promising to ship the spectacular 55-inch Super OLED TV in the spring.