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Samsung to Invest $10.9bn to Upgrade Panel Making Lines: Report

Earlier this year, Samsung said it will invest 133 trillion won by 2030 to expand its non-memory and foundry business to take the top spot in the high-tech and lucrative sector

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To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung Display Co., a major display panel maker, said on Thursday it will invest 13.1 trillion won ($10.9 billion) by 2025, to upgrade its liquid crystal display (LCD) production facilities and produce more advanced displays amid a slump and increased competition.

Panel makers here, including its large local rival LG Display Co., have been in a struggle to deal with weak demand from TV and smartphone makers, and increased competition from Chinese rivals, shifting their focus to organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels.

Under the plan, the wholly owned subsidiary of South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. will spend 10 trillion won to upgrade its existing facilities and accelerate a shift into next-generation panels, Yonhap news agency has reported.

The remaining amount will be spent on developing high-end display technologies, especially focusing on the quantum dot materials — utilised to enhance performance in key picture quality areas — and other solutions.

In detail, Samsung Display will revamp its LCD production lines in Asan, located south of Seoul, to focus on the quantum dot displays. The renovated production line will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 sheets of 65-inch quantum dot displays, with the output to be gradually expanded down the road, according to Samsung Display.

In July, LG Display Co. also said it will invest 3 trillion won for its OLED production line in South Korea to expand its production capacity for premium panels.

Stung by plunging LCD prices, Samsung Display suffered a 61 billion-won loss on sales of 11.8 trillion won in the first half of this year.

LG Display said in September that it will begin a voluntary retirement program as part of cost-cutting efforts amid mounting losses from its liquid crystal display (LCD) business and marks a transition from money-losing LCDs to a more profitable OLED business.

Samsung, Apple, Manufacturing, India
Apple and Samsung are very big players, they can change scenarios for private sector manufacturing. LifetimeStock

Last month, LG Display named LG Chem Ltd. President Jeong Ho-young as its new CEO to replace incumbent chief Han Sang-beom.

LG Display’s net losses deepened to 613 billion won in the first half of the year from 350 billion won in the year-ago period due mainly to tougher competition with Chinese rivals.

The series of massive investments may help South Korea maintain its lead in the display industry down the road and brace for the escalating protectionism around the globe, including the prolonged tension between the US and China.

Displays have been cited as one of the major future growth engines by South Korea, along with chips, automobiles, biotechnology products and carbon fibres.

Also Read: Apple to Bring AR Headsets, iPhone SE 2 and More in 2020

South Korea plans to invest 111.3 billion won in research and development projects for displays in 2020, which marks more than a threefold growth from the 25.4 billion won allocated this year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Energy.

Samsung, meanwhile, has been rolling out aggressive investments in different areas of the tech industry amid the intensifying competition in the market.

Earlier this year, Samsung said it will invest 133 trillion won by 2030 to expand its non-memory and foundry business to take the top spot in the high-tech and lucrative sector. (IANS)

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5G Samsung Smartphones Capture 5% of Global Premium Market

Currently, all the 5G phones available fall within the premium segment, but this will also change in 2020

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The adoption of 5G will play a key role in the growth of the premium segment as well as the overall global smartphone market. Pixabay

5G smartphones captured 5 per cent of the global premium market in the third quarter (Q3) of 2019 led by Samsung with 74 per cent share followed by LG with 11 per cent and Vivo with 5 per cent share, a new report by Counterpoint Research has said.

According to Counterpoint Research “Market Pulse” service, the global premium market sell-through, however, declined 7 per cent YoY.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G was the top-selling model which captured over one-third of the total sales of all 5G devices.

“All major OEMs in the premium segment now have 5G-capable devices, except Apple. Still, Apple alone captured over half of the premium market in Q3 2019. Apple grew 1 per cent YoY increasing its market share from 48 per cent a year back to 52 per cent during the quarter. iPhone XR was the top-selling model globally in the premium segment,” Varun Mishra, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

Huawei remained in the top three OEMs in the premium segment driven by the popularity of its P30 series, especially in China, despite the US ban.

China contributed to over 80 per cent of Huawei’s sell-through in the premium segment as compared to 73 per cent in the year ago quarter.

“The trend is likely to continue. It will be difficult for the newly launched Mate 30 series to create any progress outside China because it lacks Google Mobile Services (GMS). GMS is an important enabler for Huawei to continue its success outside China,” Mishra noted.

OnePlus recaptured its position among the top five OEMs in the segment and also led the India premium segment, which reached a record high shipment level during Q3.

South Korean smartphone maker LG also captured a spot in the top five, driven by the V50 ThinQ 5G. The firm grew 20 per cent YoY in the premium segment. This is in contrast with its overall smartphone shipments, which declined over 30 per cent YoY during Q3.

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5G smartphones captured 5 per cent of the global premium market in the third quarter (Q3) of 2019 led by Samsung with 74 per cent share followed by LG with 11 per cent and Vivo with 5 per cent share. Wikimedia Commons

The adoption of 5G will play a key role in the growth of the premium segment as well as the overall global smartphone market.

Apple will launch its 5G devices in 2020 driving upgrades among Apple users and potentially pulling in some previous Android users.

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“Currently, all the 5G phones available fall within the premium segment, but this will also change in 2020. Major Chinese OEMs will launch 5G-capable devices in the sub-$ 400 price band. China will drive the 5G segment followed by other key markets like the US and Korea,” Mishra added. (IANS)