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Is Samsung struggling to sell its latest TVs?

Samsung
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Display has temporarily ceased purchasing LCD panels after lower-than-expected demand for TVs has resulted in a surplus of unsold stock, according to a report in TheElec (opens in new tab).

Sources say that the company, which recently brought forward the end of its in-house LCD production in favour of buying cheaper panels from other manufacturers, informed its suppliers in mid-June that the move would last until the end of July at the earliest or until the backlog is cleared.

Samsung's current inventory of LCD panels is apparently large enough to cover around 16 weeks of sales in the current market, far exceeding the seven to nine weeks' worth of stock the company operated pre-pandemic.

In 2020 global supply chain issues and a scarcity of shipping containers initially prompted the South Korean tech giant to increase the number of LCD units it shipped to overcome any potential lack of availability for consumers during the pandemic home entertainment boom.

However, the recent downturn in global markets has seen demand and sales drop this year across North America and Europe.

According to TheElec, in a recent strategy meeting, Samsung slashed its shipment target for the rest of the year from 45 million units to 40 million. That's down from 50 million in 2021, which was an increase of over 10% from 2020.

Analyst firms Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), and Omdia have also revised their projections of the number of LCD panels Samsung is forecast to buy this year from 53 - 54 million LCD panels down to 44 million units. 

Like many other TV manufacturers, Samsung Display's profits from LCD production have been declining for several years due to increased competition from Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers. However, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in demand for LCD TVs, with the average price index peaking at a record high of 87 in June 2021, 58% higher than where it stood last month.

Brands including LG, TCL and Sony have all followed Samsung's lead, dropping their annual shipping targets for 2022 and purchasing fewer LCD panels. Samsung Display's fellow South Korean counterpart LG Display is reported to be considering its own exit from LCD panel production and is expected to report a loss for the second quarter of 2022.

According to Omdia, the average display panel factory operation rate was at 77% in early June, down 4.5% from May and the lowest rate in five years. While unit price drops might mean low profitability for display panel companies, it could be good news for cash-strapped consumers looking to buy a new TV. With Prime Day just around the corner, bargain hunters are advised to keep an eye out for some excellent TV deals.


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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre. Her mixing credits include productions at The National Theatre and in the West End, as well as original musicals composed by Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos, Guy Chambers, Howard Goodall and Dan Gillespie Sells. 

  • Freddy
    Interesting, I am LG from now on though.
    Reply
  • Bfree4me
    The Recession is here so it only makes sense. First it was the GPUs now TVs. The good news is, in my opinion a 2021 TV Is just as good as a 2022
    Reply
  • Bfree4me
    Freddy said:
    Interesting, I am LG from now on though.
    I wanted to go LG OLED C1 but went the Samsung route instead. Super Bright, High Contrast and No Chance of Burn in. If my Qn90a is a beast. Then the 2022 QN95B is Hercules. No Dolby Vision, but it it's not necessarily required for awesomeness.
    Reply
  • jondo278
    This story doesn't really surprise me- the fact that Samsung display advertising on their TV's after warranty expriy is unconcionable conduct. I will never buy another Samsung product simply for this reason. I took my existing Samsung to the landfill once it started showing ads that I couldn't turn off.
    Reply
  • Audiogod66
    jondo278 said:
    This story doesn't really surprise me- the fact that Samsung display advertising on their TV's after warranty expriy is unconcionable conduct. I will never buy another Samsung product simply for this reason. I took my existing Samsung to the landfill once it started showing ads that I couldn't turn off.
    Samsung have for many years had dodgy fail points in their tv products in the power supply section they use a bank of usually 2 cheap capacitors that will fail usually sometime after the warranty period. I have fixed 4 tv all different models from Samsung - installing genuine Panasonic caps cost $2 made these TV's last for years later. I should add my experience with Samsung in Australia are the worst sleaziest company for warranty I have ever dealt with. I think this is starting to catch up with them - my tv failed 7 days outside the warranty and the attitude was tough shit!
    Reply
  • jondo278
    Completely agree - I've had similar experiences with 2010 era Samsung TV not long out of warranty - although it was a failed switching MOSFET. I foolishly bought another. They fooled me once, but never again.
    Reply
  • Audiogod66
    jondo278 said:
    Completely agree - I've had similar experiences with 2010 era Samsung TV not long out of warranty - although it was a failed switching MOSFET. I foolishly bought another. They fooled me once, but never again.
    Yes stupidly I did the same however this $4 k tv failed in 3 days ! The seller accepted return no worries - I talked to the warehouse guy 2015 and he showed me the dead pile - anyway I have no Samsung tv since
    Reply