Samsung pushes quantum dot TVs to restore profits

Samsung pushes quantum dot TVs to restore profits

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest TV maker, said Tuesday it plans to launch a total of 14 SUHD TV models this year, renewing its commitment to liquid-crystal display in the premium TV market.

Amid fierce competition with Chinese rivals, Samsung has poured resources to produce more lucrative high-end TVs, including the latest ones that use quantum dot technology.

“Following the first launch last year, we have applied the second-generation quantum dot technology this year that has upgraded overall picture quality,” said Kim Hyun-seok, president and Samsung’s TV chief at a press conference in Seoul.

“We will continue to unveil new generation models.”

Quantum dots are tiny particles that emit a different color of light depending on size. When applied to TVs, the colors are more accurate and the images are more vibrant compared to traditional LCDs. On top of that, they are more energy efficient.

Despite several advantages, TV makers have been reluctant to adopt the technology because quantum dots generally contain cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that faces stiff regulations in many countries.

Currently, Samsung is the sole producer of cadmium-free quantum dot TVs.

Samsung aims to sell some 50 million TV sets this year and more than 10 percent of them will be premium models with profitability that almost doubles that of standard TVs.

As for its suspended production of organic light-emitting diode TVs, the company reaffirmed that it has no immediate plan to resume the production.

“OLED technology is not complete. We will not enter the market unless current issues such as durability, afterimage and brightness are resolved,” said Kim Moon-soo, senior vice president.

While its local rival LG Electronics is making a big push on OLEDs, other TV makers, led by Samsung, still stick to LCDs for better profits. OLEDs offer better blackness and extreme color contrast but its tricky production raises costs and TV prices.

Samsung claims its first-generation quantum dot TVs may have fallen behind OLED TVs in terms of overall picture quality but its new models this year have drastically improved brightness.

The company has also upgraded its user interfaces to allow its TVs to serve as entertainment platforms at home. It has also teamed up with Netflix, a U.S. video-streaming service, to carry out promotional events.

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