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Panasonic to end production of LCD panels, LG to halve production

04 Dec 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Samsung Display recently announced a plan to shift away from LCD and Panasonic now confirms that it will end production of LCD panels by 2021. LG will reportedly halve production of LCD TV panels in 2020.

A challenged LCD market

With state-backed financing and cheap labor, Chinese display makers are pushing incumbents out of an LCD market that suffers from oversupply and falling prices. At the same time, OLED has gained foothold in the high-end segment. In October 2019, Samsung Display announced that it is shifting production away from ageing LCD technology to next-generation display technology, including a special flavor of OLED, so-called QD-OLED.

Panasonic LCD

Panasonic now confirms that it will end production of LCD panels by 2021. The company ended LCD TV panel production in 2016 and shifted its attention to other LCD formats such as professional monitors. - "Panasonic Corporation announced it will end the production of liquid crystal display (“LCD”) panels. While Panasonic had responded to the tough competition and evolution in the business environment of LCD panels, and had taken various measures to shift its market focus and introduce new products, it has determined that further continuation of the business would be unviable," the company said. "Specifically, Panasonic will end LCD panel production by 2021 at Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display Co., Ltd." The decision is expected to also affect the company's dual-layer LCD project that will be either terminated or sold to another display market. Most recently, at IFA 2019 in september, Panasonic demonstrated its 'MegaCon' prototype.

Panasonic LCD - timeline

January 2005: Established IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd. May 2006: Started production of LCD panels at Mobara plant April 2010: Started production at Himeji factory October 2010: Established Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display Co., Ltd. April 2012: Transferred Mobara plant, having two bases at Himeji and Ibaraki June 2014: Concentrated its base in Himeji August 2016: Ended production of LCD TV panels

LG Display to halve production

LG Display is also feeling the pressure. Quarterly reports reveal that the company is struggling financially and the company most recently replaced its CEO. Korean news site The Elec reports that LG Display is planning to almost halve production of LCD TV panels in 2020 in face of falling LCD prices. As a result, the company will accelerate the shift to OLED. For years, LG Display was the top LCD TV panel maker but it was recently dethroned by China's BOE. As a consequence of the changes, LG Display is expected to fall further to fifth place next year, behind BOE, CSOT, Innolux and HKC. Also read: China overtakes Korea in global LCD TV market - "We plan to downsize at the P7, P8 LCD TV factories in order to focus more on our strengths and streamline what’s necessary," said Seo Dong-hee, LG Display CFO, at a recent earnings call. Analyst company IHS Markit expects LG Display's LCD TV panel output to drop from 48.6 million this year to 27 million in 2020. - Source: Panasonic, The Elec

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