Samsung Electronics Announces Flexible Price Strategy for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in H2

Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge

On July 30, Samsung Electronics announced their second quarter earnings results and future outlook via conference call.


The sales of IM (Information Technology and Mobile Communications) department recorded approximately US$ 13,000,000,000, a 1% increase from the previous quarter. The business profit of approximately US$ 2,000,000,000 was recorded, an increase of US$ 17,000,000.


Although the overall sales increased through Galaxy S6 release, due to the supply issues of Galaxy S6 Edge, and increase in marketing cost, the business profit did not much increase. Samsung Elec. explained that due to the decrease in sales of low-mid-price old models, degrowth was shown compared to the previous quarter. However, ASP was much improved due to product mix development.


Robert Yi, chief of the firm’s investor relations team, revealed that 89,000,000 units of mobile phones and 8,000,000 units of tablets were sold in the second quarter. The ASP of these products recorded mid US$ 200s. Of the mobile phone sales, the percentage of smartphone sales was in low 80s.


Yi announced their plan to increase the market share through flexible price strategy for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in the second half and strengthening of low-to-mid price smartphone line up. He also mentioned that enlargement of display size and AMOLED panel use could occur for future lower priced items.


The price of Galaxy S6 Edge that exceeded US$ 1,200 initially, recorded US$ 739 in the second week of July. If the currently operational A3 line yield improves and investment for transforming part of rigid A2 line to flexible occurs, flexible AMOLED panel’s mass production capa. will increase from the second half. This will simplify AMOLED panel supply process, and it is analyzed that the flexible price strategy for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be feasible.


For the display section, it was revealed that the results were slow compared to the previous quarter due to increase of cost from new flexible display line ramp up and decrease in smartphone demand. Samsung Elec. explained that in the second half, they are planning to increase the market leadership through flexible technology improvement. The new growth power will be achieved through development of new applications such as transparent, mirror, and head mounted display.


Samsung Elec. revealed that there was difficulty in acquiring initial supply regarding the Galaxy S6 Edge. They explained that this was due to the use of new technology, including the large area evaporation technology of A3 line that began operation in April this year. However, the problem has now been solved and reliable supply is possible, and the firm revealed the possibility of supply of flexible OLED panel to external companies. The panels will be supplied to meet the needs of client and market, and some capa. establishment will also occur next year. Product performance and production cost competitiveness are improving, and the firm revealed strategy of increasing the OLED panel sales to external companies this year.


During this conference call, Samsung Elec. revealed that the total sales was recorded to be approximately US$ 41,000,000,000 in second quarter of this year which is a 3% increase compared to the previous quarter. The business profit recorded approximately US$ 6,000,000,000, an increase of 15% compared to the previous quarter.


LGE to Compete with UHD OLED TV Price in 2016

On July 29, LG Electronics announced its earnings results at LG Twin Towers in Yeouido, South Korea. Representatives of each business departments, including LGE’s CFO Jung Do Hyun, explained the second quarter results and third quarter outlook.


Regarding the poor sales results of this quarter, LGE gave the decrease in sales and business profit in most of the growth market as the reason. The decrease was analyzed to be from sudden fluctuations in foreign exchange rate which led to global economic downturn. Essentially, it seems LGE believes that their market strategy is not at fault and that the decrease in demand in TV market and weaker global foreign exchange rate led to the fall in profit.


The competitiveness of Home Entertainment (HE) business department increased through strengthening product mix focusing on premium products. However, due to the sudden fluctuations in foreign exchange rate and seasonal factors the global market diminished and an 11% decrease in sales was recorded compared to the previous quarter. Jung explained that the sales in Europe, Central and South America, and Russia increased but most of the growth market showed economic downturn due to weak foreign exchange rate which led to the decrease in sales. However, he forecast that in the third quarter, the premium TV market will continue to grow and increase the UHD OLED TV sales.


Additionally, Jung commented while low-to-medium priced products will be released, sales activity will focus on premium products and announced as the yield of UHD OLED TV panel is increasing rapidly, they will be able to compete in price from mid-2016. He also made a positive estimation that the market will show a growth rate once the foreign exchange rate fluctuations stabilize.


According to UBI Research, there is approximately US$ 2,000 prices difference between UHD OLED TV and SUHD TV, looking at 55inch size in early July. Within less than a month, on July 24, the difference was reduced to US$ 1,700; it is estimated that UHD OLED TV will be able to compete against SUHD TV price from next year.


Answering a question on competition with Chinese companies, LGE clarified that although their growth is rapid, LGE is ahead in terms of patents, quality, and brand power. Although they mentioned that Chinse companies have growth foothold with their large market share within domestic market in China, LGE concluded that the real global growth is not very great. However, LGE admitted that Chinse companies are definitely superior in cost effectiveness. To combat this, LGE announced they will focus on premium products and increase competitiveness, and form strategy of supplying non-premium products to the growth market.


LGE recorded sales of approximately US$ 1,600,000,000, a 0.5% decrease from the previous quarter, and business profit of approximately US$ 200,000,000, a 20% decrease from the previous quarter.

LGD Expands Market Through Active Support of OLED


On July 23, LG Display announced its earnings results at LG Twin Towers in Yeouido, South Korea. During this event, LG Display revealed its decision to invest approximately US$ 900 million in Gen6 flexible OLED line in order to lead the flexible OLED market.


LG Display’s CFO, Kim Sang-don, explained that flexible OLED Gen6 line investment was decided at the board of directors meeting on July 22, and was made official on the morning of July 23. Kim added that the decision was reached so that LG Display can lead the OLED business in terms of technology and to occupy initial market in foldable and rollable technologies. He also commented the monthly capa. of the flexible OLED line will be 7.5K.


Regarding large area OLED panel, it was emphasized that this year’s panel production target remains to be 600,000 units and 1,500,000 units next year, same as the ones announced during the Q1 earnings results presentation. It was also revealed that 34K, approximately 9K higher than current capa., will be in operation in 2016. Addressing the concern of oversupply of next year’s 1,500,000 units while the OLD TV market is still small, LG Display suggested the solution of increasing the demand by active promotion from the second half of this year.


Despite the fall of mid to large size panels’ sales price, from the enlargement of sets and AIT technology applied sales performance, the business profit of approximately US$ 4,000 million was recorded. This is a 34% decrease compared to the previous quarter but a 199% increase from the same period in 2014. LG Display estimates that the sales will increase in the third quarter due to seasonal factors and panel’s enlargement trend.


OLED 8K TV, When Would It Be Possible?

The current TV market trends are curved design, large area, and high resolution. LCD and OLED, competing to lead the next generation display market, have both released curved large size premium TV of 55 inch screen or larger. In terms of resolution, UHD grade products are being released following FHD, and displays with higher resolution are being required.


Looking at Korea and Japan’s contents roadmap, UHD resolution OLED TV development is essential as Japan is aiming to test 8K contents broadcasting in 2016, and Korea in 2018. Korea began test broadcasting UHD from 2013, and is aiming for regular application in 2016 for satellite/cable channels and 2018 for broadcast channels. Considering active release of UHD TV occurred in 2014, 8K TV’s market release is estimated to be in 2019-2020. It is analyzed that approximately 3 years are left to prepare for 8K TV mass production.


At present 8K LCD TV have been revealed by key panel companies through various exhibitions, and its mass production is set for 2016-2017. However, only up to 4K OLED TV have been unveiled, falling behind LCD in terms of resolution.


The keys to 8K OLED TV actualization are pixel size reduction and aperture ratio achievement. LCD uses 1 transistor and capacitor per pixel whereas OLED requires 2 or more transistors and 1 capacitor per pixel. This leads to OLED’s difficulty in acquiring adequate aperture ratio and reducing pixel size compared to LCD. The key solutions are developments of top emission structure of OLED panel for TV, instead of bottom emission that produces light through TFT, and emitting materials that can generate sufficient light efficacy from bottom emission produced aperture ratio.


OLED demonstrated its strength as display by achieving what LCD took more than 10 years in 2-3 years. Considering this, although approximately only 3 years are left to mass produce 8K display, it is anticipated that OLED is capable of catching up to LCD’s resolution.

4K OLED TV by LG Display and Samsung Display

Visionox Unveils Newest Flexible AMOLED Panel

On July 10, Visionox unveiled newest flexible AMOLED panel of rollable type through their website. The unveiled flexible AMOLED has the curvature radius of 3mm with 20um of thickness, and can be curled into a cylinder.


Visionox revealed that they are “concentrating on flexible AMOLED development and aiming for mass production within 2 years”.


Not only are Visionox working on flexible AMOLED panel development, they are also participating in international flexible display standardization and diverse international standards establishment on OLED. Visionox is scheduled to begin active mass production of mobile rigid AMOLED panel from Kunshan’s Gen5.5 line.


Visionox’s Flexible AMOLED Panel, Source: Visionox

Visionox’s Flexible AMOLED Panel, Source: Visionox


Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 Release, What is Different This Time?

On 20 July, Samsung Electronics announced the launch of the Galaxy Tab S2 (8.0inch, 9.7inch), with the thinnest and lightest metal frame of its size on the market.


Galaxy Tab S2 has thickness of 5.6mm and weight of 265g and 389g for 8.0inch and 9.7inch tablets respectively. Samsung Elec. applied Super AMOLED Display to these new releases with QXGA resolution.


In comparison with the previous Galaxy Tab S, the resolution was reduced from 2560×1600 to 2048×1536. The battery capacity was also lowered to 4,000mAh (8.0inch) and 5,870mAh (9.7inch), decreases of approximately 18% and 26% from existing models. However, with the reduced thickness and weight, mobility was improved, and through the lowered energy consumption the usage efficacy increased.


JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Elec. explained that the Galaxy Tab S2 is not only the “thinnest and lightest tablet of its size ever,” but that “it also gives users quick, easy access to a wealth of superior viewing and productivity features”.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 will come in a variety of connectivity, storage and size options: 9.7-inch and 8.0-inch versions with Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and LTE, available in 32 or 64GB with MicroSD up to 128GB. It will be available in global markets, starting from August, 2015.


Source: UBI Research

Source: UBI Research

China’s Gen10.5 Investment, Korean Display Companies’ Countermeasure?

At the 10th National Research Development Industry General Workshop in Display (8-10 July) in Muju, South Korea, industry-academy experts gathered and held a discussion on the future display strategy under the heading ‘Korean Display Industry Crisis, What is the Solution?’.


At the previous keynote speech, vice president of LG Display, Yoon Sooyoung explained that the key points for the third revolution will be design innovation, design freedom differentiated though real image, and picture quality that can closely resemble visual reality. He also added that the third display is OLED that can actualize various advantages such as transparency, flexibility, and high picture quality at once, and considering material/component and mass production technology status, OLED will also be able to achieve competitive prices soon.


Samsung Display’s executive director Hye Yong Chu forecast next generation display will be smart display, human friendly, holographic, and disruptive innovation. Particularly she estimated that thorough size and design innovation, flexible display will be able to create new application and market and that flexible OLED will form the core.


The shared opinion of Samsung Display and LG Display, key Korean display companies, at the keynote session was Korean display industry’s need to lead the next generation display market in order to prepare for China’s pursuit and requirement of active participation and cooperation from industry-academy to achieve this.


During the panel discussion that followed the keynote session, many different opinions were suggested regarding Korean display industry status from academy-industry. Of China’s BOE’s Gen10.5 investment, Samsung Display’s Chu disclosed that investment at the right moment was more important than preemptive investment; the focus will be curved and edge display market expansion and widening the technology gap with latecomers, and investment will be carefully considered before making a decision. LG Display’s Yoon also explained that areas where cost innovation are possible are limited even with investment is carried out as the current display market is different from previous ones. He added that Gen10.5 investment has to be deliberated and emphasized that focus should be on how to make OLED competitive.


Against the China’s aggressive investment on Gen8 or higher, Samsung Display and LG Display’s positions are analyzed to be of same opinion of carefully considering investment while pioneering the market maximizing the existing technology prowess.


미래 디스플레이 전략 대토론회


UHD OLED TV, Rapidly Catching Up to SUHD TV Price

OLED TV price, once again, dropped down by a large margin. LG Electronics’ new 2015 model 65inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV (65EG9600) on Amazon ( fell to US$ 6,999 which is a drop of US$ 2,000 from previous US$ 8,999. The price for 55inch 4K Ultra HD curved OLED TV fell US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,499 from its release price of US$ 5,499. The 2015 new model EG9600 series has panel with improved brightness of 450nit from previous 400nit.


The price of Samsung Electronics’ SUHD TV, similar premium product to LG Electornics’, is US$ 4,997 for 65inch (UN65JS9500), and US$ 2,497.99 for 55inch; there is a difference of approximately US$ 2,000 between LG Electronics’’ UHD OLED TV of same size.


The comparison between 2015 65inch UHD OLED TV and SUHD TV shows that approx. 40% price difference was shown in April 2015. However in July 2015, the difference was approx. 30%, showing that UHD OLED TV price further fell by approx. 10%.


These show that the UHD OLED TV price reduction is occurring rapidly. It is analyzed that the biggest factor for LG Electronics’ UHD OLED TV price fall is production cost reduction due to UHD panel yield increase and competition with set companies that actively began OLED TV sales.

UHD TV Price Trend, Source : UBI Research


[Analyst Column] Korean TV Industry, Where to Go?

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst,



Korean TV industry, according to recent reports by media, is showing a red light not being able to escape the deficit structure.


Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics possess high market share in costly premium TV market. However, in 30inch grade market, the two companies struggle against economically priced sets. In order to maintain sales, Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. are managing diverse product portfolio but business profit keep falling. Due to this, LCD panel stocks produced by Samsung Display and LG Display are steadily increasing.


LCD panel business is sinking into a pit.


What is the reason that Korea’s LCD TV and LCD business values can only become worse?


This can be forecast from looking at Japan’s TV and LCD business. Until the early 2000s, Japan was one of the leaders in electronics. However, Japan’s TV business is gradually dying out. Japan’s leading companies, Sony and Panasonic’s TV business began to be deteriorate because of Korean mid-low price products. In succession, Sony ended up spinning off the TV business, and Panasonic stopped TV business other than for domestic supply. Korean TV companies began to dominate the market. However, only a few years since then, Korean TV industry is losing commercial value, pushed aside by mid-low price products manufactured by China and others.


Second is display investment. As Japanese TV industry began to crumble, Japanese display companies had no choice but to stop the investment. The companies could not see a way to make profit through investment even if TV market grew as client companies’ panel purchasing power fell. Korea is the same. Samsung Elec. and LG Elec.’s TV business profitability deterioration led toward Samsung Display and LG Display’s halting the investment. On the other hand, Chinse display companies began Gen10.5 line investment. TV industry relies on assembly business and business network and therefore initial investment cost is low. In comparison, display industry is high risk as it requires large scale investment from early stages. If the business profit falls without investment cost return, companies face great loss and business closure is also not easy.


The third reason that Japanese TV companies are dying out is because they could not produce premium TV. Sony, which lost its competitiveness in LCD TV, tried to strengthen its market leadership through 4K TV. However, the brand value was already down and with the lack of marketing value, Sony easily gave up the market to companies in pursuit such as Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. LCD TV already had no difference in quality whether it was produced by a Korean or Japanese company, and brand value order had switched. LCD TV quality produced by Chinese companies is already reached the top. They are no longer companies who produce cheaper knockoffs. Furthermore, LCD panel production technology of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China can now be deemed equal.


The final reason that stops Japanese TV business from securing market is that they failed to suggest differentiation point in premium TV. Fundamentally, differentiation is not possible for LCD TV. The biggest differentiation factors in the current TV market are picture quality and design. Any company can produce thin LCD TV and curved LCD TV. Panel size, resolution, and QD-LED using color gamut that LCD can actualize can no longer be differentiated technology. The difference of LCD panel and TV manufacturing technology between Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China is already within a year. No matter what kind of product is released, market control has one year of expiration period. Considering the promotion period required in the market is approximately 6 months, the period where profit can be made is shortened even further.


So what is the solution for the Korean TV industry to survive?


As I have mentioned dozens of times for several years, what is left is OLED TV. What LCD cannot do in terms of picture quality and design, with OLED it is possible. Therefore, only the non-LCD products can enjoy the key factors of differentiation in premium TV market.


Existing premium TV is IPTV, a market that Japanese TV companies have been pursuing since early 2000s. Internet connection is possible through TV and allows for exchange of information in both directions. The basic concept of IPTV is watching TV while searching the information on TV via internet. But how useful is this concept at present? The usefulness of IPTV is becoming increasingly low as smartphone is used to search information, use the internet, and even watch TV. With no reason to use the internet via TV, TV companies should seriously consider whether TV with high white brightness is really needed. Rather than white TV with high brightness, it is time to place more importance in the functions of the TV itself. TV screen only uses 20-30% of full white brightness. Films, with outdoor shooting, falls under 20%, and for contents shot at night, black is more important.


Considering ‘blackness’ and design, anyone can find where the solution lies. If the foolish notion of trying to make OLED as bright as LCD is abandoned, there is hope.





Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013