The Korea Herald


Samsung, LG urged to cooperate on OLED

Samsung Electronics’ Europe official dismisses LG’s technology

By Korea Herald

Published : April 21, 2013 - 20:42

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SARDINIA, Italy ― Samsung and LG were urged to reach an agreement on patent sharing to keep at bay the Chinese rivals that are fast on Korea’s heels in terms of OLED technology, an executive at leading research firm said in an interview Saturday.

“It could be desirable for the companies to share their patents,” said Paul Gray, director of TV Electronics and Europe TV Research at DisplaySearch, on the sidelines of the IFA Global Conference on the Italian island of Sardinia. “I think that Samsung and LG need to consider where their biggest threats lie. Is it each other or is it Chinese companies, which already have aggressive plans to move into OLED technology?”

OLED is cited as the next-generation display technology with better clarity, color saturation and energy efficiency than LCDs.

Samsung and LG, the world’s top two display makers, both claim dominance over this new panel technology and are in a related legal dispute. A cross-licensing agreement seemed to be in the making early this year, but recently, the police raided Samsung Display’s headquarters and plants.

Despite the turn of events, Samsung still appeared to be skeptical of LG’s OLED technology.

“What has LG shown us on OLED? Nothing,” Michael Zoeller, senior director of TV sales and marketing at Samsung’s Europe headquarters, told The Korea Herald shortly after his official briefing at the conference on Friday.
Michael Zoeller Michael Zoeller

He also stressed that is important is not the competitor’s doings, but what Samsung does, refusing to take seriously LG’s claims on being an OLED pioneer.

Zoeller’s comments echoed Samsung Display CEO Kim Ki-nam, who, following the recent raid, pronounced that “Samsung is the only company in the world possessing OLED technology,” and that it has no reason to steal from anyone.

Meanwhile, Gray opined that the TV business is not an option for Apple because the popular iPad and iPhone maker isn’t positioned to effectively manage it. 
Paul Gray Paul Gray

“It doesn’t make sense for Apple to directly compete in the global TV market against Samsung,” he said.

“Apple has very limited product diversity. Most of its key products are selling below $1,000, which allows them to ship in huge volumes. This, combined with high margins, give Apple revenues. However, TVs have much thinner margins but have high product diversity. A large product size means that logistics is a key part of the business,” Gray said, noting that Apple does not possess such an edge.

By Kim Ji-hyun, Korea Herald correspondent