It looks like we are going to be left waiting for a cheap Samsung OLED TV — at least until 2023.
News outlet The Korea Bizwire (opens in new tab) reports that Samsung and LG have abandoned their planned partnership to supply Samsung with cheaper OLED display panels. Senior Vice President and CFO at LG Display, Kim Sung-hyun, made the announcement during a conference call on July 27.
Technically, the exact phrasing that Kim used was “the process has come to a halt at the moment.” So — in theory — the partnership could still be revived. However, price seems to be the major sticking point per an industry source, and that could be tough for the two companies to overcome. It also seems to confirm the rumors we were hearing back in May stating that Samsung’s cheaper OLED TVs might not arrive in 2022.
Samsung OLED TVs: Why does Samsung need LG?
Consumers may be confused about why Samsung even needs LG to make new TVs. After all, the Samsung S95B OLED 4K Smart TV is impressive and even sits on our list of best OLED TVs.
The issue is Samsung uses QD-OLED panels for the above set, and they are much more expensive. Granted, they do come with some benefits. Our reporting has found that the QD-OLEDs are superior in terms of color saturation, which provides a better viewing experience from all angles. But at $2,599, it is to justify that upgrade when an LG C1 OLED can be had for less than $800.
LG can undercut Samsung on this price point because it uses W-OLED display panels, which are cheaper to manufacture than QD-OLED panels. LG also just happens to be the only company that manufactures W-OLED display panels, leaving Samsung at their mercy. Samsung tried to alleviate this issue with a potential partnership with LG, but as we are now reporting, that effort has stalled for now.
Samsung OLED TVs: What this means for consumers
The biggest impact this will have on consumers is that they will not get a cheaper OLED TV offering from Samsung this year. Samsung needed to ideally come to an agreement with LG at the end of May, and it is now almost August. The unfortunate truth is that they have run out of time to meet a late 2022 launch window.
That leaves consumers with a few options. First, you can wait and hope LG and Samsung reach a deal and that it results in a cheaper OLED TV from Samsung in early 2023. For obvious reasons, it’s tough to recommend anyone take that route.
So if you don’t want to wait, you could go for the LG C1 OLED instead. It sits number two on our best OLED TVs list and as mentioned earlier it is the best TV for its money starting at $796 for a 48-inch. But if you are set on a Samsung OLED, you’ll need to go with the aforementioned Samsung S95B OLED 4K Smart TV. Given the nearly $2,000 price difference, that may be a tough pill to swallow.
However, if you are willing to forgo having an OLED TV, you could buy the Samsung QN90B. This TV uses mini-QLEDs rather than OLED display panels and starts at just $1,199. Given that it’s our best TV available right now, if you’re dying for a Samsung TV its the clear choice.