It’s always interesting to discover new unexpected things during our usual routine of researches and read-ups. Both Samsung and LG are major players in the display technology segment and they are both from South Korea. However, these two companies have a very different path for the future. As Samsung continues to innovate and expand into multiple different display technologies, LG is adamant and continues on with OLED only.
The backstory of this predicament is actually far deeper than what we consumers usually see or care about. Let’s take display technologies for example. We know that there are OLED and LCD display panels which are commonly found these days. Same goes to TVs as well but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Both Samsung and LG are spearheading in the display technologies segment and has some overlaps in categories of products as well – prominently in LCD and OLED. Currently, LG is continuously developing and pushing on OLED panels while Samsung is expanding its horizons to 4 more display technologies – QLED, microLED, QD-OLED, and even QD-microLED
Without going much into details on each display technology, we know that Samsung is moving away from OLED for TVs specifically because of its larger screen and manufacturing challenges, the longer product life cycles, and most important – the lack of any stagnant elements on the TV. Hence, Samsung is only including OLED display panels on their smartphones.
LG, on the other hand, continues to push the OLED display technology despite that the “blue pixel problem” still looms over their OLED panels. The “blue pixel problem” here is an inherent issue which causes pixels on to have a shorter lifespan, eventually resulting in the infamous burn-in.
LG tried to solve this problem by introducing white OLED sub-pixel to the usual RGB group. Whiteness here means that the colors can look washed out but was able to circumvent the “blue pixel problem” for a while. It is definitely a trade-off to prolong the OLED lifespan.
As Samsung continues to march onward with its display technology, they scored big when Apple ordered 100 million OLED panels for the iPhones. By choosing Samsung it shows that there is more confidence in Samsung rather than LG – and there is other data to back that up too.
Remember the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with its green screen problem? Huawei used OLED panels from two manufacturers for that smartphone – LG and BOE. Reportedly, those units with green screen issues are using OLED panels from LG whereby the BOE panels do not have any issues. We experienced this first hand, by the way.
Speaking of BOE, the rise of Chinese display manufacturer is driving the prices of OLED panels down through ubiquity while spends a hefty amount in research and development as well. LG now only faces competition from themselves to push the OLED panels while facing threat from BOE as well.
Samsung, as of now, is looking at other new display technologies instead of focusing on existing ones. With a few different technologies at hand, Samsung has backup plans in case anything goes awry.