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South Korean panel makers get caught in the OLED shift

Samsung and LG will have to rethink their strategies as the industry moves on

SEOUL South Korea's two panel makers are expected to post record-high earnings in the second quarter, due largely to an uptick in the overall market. The outlook, however, is not entirely sunny for Samsung Display and LG Display as they struggle to keep pace with an industrywide shift from liquid crystal displays to organic light-emitting diodes.

Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics, has a dominant presence in the market for small OLED panels used in smartphones and tablets. The company pulled out of the large OLED display business in 2015 due to low profitability, having bet on quantum dot light-emitting diodes for premium TVs. Key manufacturers have since opted instead for rival OLED technology for large screens.

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