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Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business 60

redletterdave writes "Samsung Electronics announced Monday that it will spin off its LCD business division to launch a new entity, provisionally called Samsung Display Co., set to go live on April 1, 2012. The new business will launch with about $668 million in capital, but Samsung plans to invest about $5.8 billion in 2012 to develop better displays. The move, which now awaits shareholder approval, has been rumored for months since Samsung's LCD business announced operating losses of $666 million in 2011, citing sluggish TV sales. The company's spin-off display business may eventually merge with Samsung Mobile Display, which makes the company's organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels that are currently in high demand."
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Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business

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  • by JavaBear ( 9872 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @04:00PM (#39102461)

    I am really not that concerned for the split.

    • Splitting off an entity like this is nothing more than protection of the parent company from failure. Once split off, the new company can rack up all sorts of debt struggling in it's highly competitive field. If it manages to survive, they "merge" it back in later as the story suggests could happen later. If it fails, they declare bankruptcy on that now separate company and the parent company keeps it's hands and balance sheet clean.

      I am a little sad in that this means they anticipate the business fai
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The losses will be paperwork losses, reflected in building up infrastructure to mass produce the panels upon very large basis.

        The branch off is more indicative of Samsung having made a breakthrough in alternate panel construction, likely cheaper and capable of more readily producing larger screens.

        Inevitable that would mean the new business shutting down the old business, not a very good business model hence the need to sell off the old business first.

        No different to IBM selling of the hard disk driv

  • Resolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mehrotra.akash ( 1539473 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @04:01PM (#39102471)
    Are they investing in higher resolution?
    Because without that, most of the market at the current price levels is saturated with "good enough" screens and wont see much of a point in upgrading
    Affordable 1920*1200 screens at 22 inch, and 2560*1600 or 2560*1440 at 24inch or 27 inch will get atleast the monitor market moving again (and GPU market)
    • I might actually give up my 100lbs CRT. Sweet.
      • I wish I still had ol' dependable. I miss CRTs and their ability to display virtually any resolution without looking like trash.

    • Higher resolution? I want higher dpi in small displays. The rumored iPad3 display is just about exactly what I would like on a Macbook air sized device.

      • I want higher DPI for PC monitors as well. But, DPI adjustment in the OS needs to work correctly. Microsoft keeps trying, but altering the DPI setting still results in too many broken applications. OSX doesn't even try, despite Apple having made it work on the iPhone.

        I have two very nice high res displays that I have to run at non-native resolution because native res results in text that's too small for me to comfortably read. It sucks.

    • by kroyd ( 29866 )
      Samsung has shown both pentile AMOLED and TFT displays at 10.1" / 2560x1600 resolution []. The rumored "Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6" is also supposed to have this resolution, hopefully as a non-pentile AMOLED display.

      They've also shown flexible [] and transparent [] displays, so hopefully that 27" 8K display will come rolled up in a tube ready to hang on the wall.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Given that Samsung was demonstrating a 4000 pixel TV at CES, they do seem to be the one company still investing in higher resolutions.
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @04:08PM (#39102543) Homepage

    Does this have anything to do with Apple?

    I.e., Apple's suing Samsung, and vice versa. On the other hand, Samsung provides the iPad's displays.

    So, by spinning off the display division, is the purpose to get on with the suing?

    • I was thinking along the same line as you. This is probably just risk management in the event that they lose the legal battle with Apple. Then again, maybe it is a way to prepare for sale of the division.
    • If I read the summary right, they're keeping hold of the mobile display business. This seems to be their larger displays.
    • iPads look like IPS screens to me and that is pretty much all from LG.Displays. Samsung is more of a VA company.

      • iPads are IPS displays, that doesn't mean Samsung doesn't make them while sticking PVA and TN film panels in most consumer products. 5 seconds on Google would have told you that Apple originally asked LG to make them but then switched to Samsung as LG couldn't meet the supply demands and deadlines. Incidentally LG also happen to make PVA and TN film panels too, as do Sharp.

        About the only thing unique about any display company is the AMOLED is a Samsung only product at this point.

    • I wouldn't think so. Apple gets their displays from Samsung and Sharp from what I remember. The LCD business here deals with all sorts of displays including TV displays which is the part that is hurting the business. Sony which has nothing to do with the Apple suit is also hurting when it comes to the TV LCD business. If anything, the iPad business helps Samsung as the component is a more specialized part that they can charge more to manufacture.
  • After reading the quote in the summary, the only thing I can think of is: you can have your eternal copyright.

  • by LordStormes ( 1749242 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @04:25PM (#39102699) Homepage Journal

    No company should EVER do anything important on April 1.

  • High quality LED TV screens are becoming a commodity.

    The money is in improved user interfaces and vertical integration with content providers.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      Oh, I wouldn't say high quality. I have a 1600x1200 LCD and I can't find a way to replace it other than downgrading to only 1080, which would suck given the recent UI designer fixation on as many horizontal tool bars as large as possible. Major Bummer.

      I would say "adequate quality for the masses". You know, like Walmart products. And that market has wiped out anything better so you have a huge jump from low res junk for only $100 to graphics artist terminals at over $2K and not much in between.

      • Oh, I wouldn't say high quality. I have a 1600x1200 LCD and I can't find a way to replace it other than downgrading to only 1080, which would suck given the recent UI designer fixation on as many horizontal tool bars as large as possible. Major Bummer.

        Completely agree. I am pondering the possiblity of two 16x9 displays, side-by side, but each one rotated 90 degrees.

        • by GSloop ( 165220 )

          Three would be even better. ATI has a _fairly_ cheap triple-head video card, last I checked. (~$200) - it's a 3GL card.


          • They are cheaper than that, there are several models under $100 now. Note that you'll either need at least one monitor with DisplayPort or one of the pricier active DisplayPort to DVI/HDMI/VGA/whatever adapters.
        • The only problem with that is most (all?) OSes can't properly handle the subpixel font rendering for a rotated display.
  • by alexander_686 ( 957440 ) on Monday February 20, 2012 @04:28PM (#39102731)

    Now a commodity product with
          High Capital Costs
          High Fixed Costs
          In a market with over capacity.

    This is not going to be a fun line of business for the next 10 years.

    • Solution:
      What? you paid $1500 for that TV? It's only 1920x1080? What a POS!
      BUY the NEW 2880x1620 SUPER HI DEF TV !!!!
      For the LOW LOW price of ONLY $9999 !!!!
      • by Calos ( 2281322 )

        Well, it is> more visible than DRAM to the end user, so maybe.

        But my bet is that a fair chuck of it is going to be in premiums for gimmicky features. I don't know, maybe something like adding in ill-conceived 3D effects. Then you role it out across your entire line, so that everything but the super cheap displays have it. The industry follows suit, and has an excuse for raising prices, increasing their margins. And then, as they continue to improve it, you'll be encouraged to keep upgrading... and lo, t

      • Unfortunately not all content is 1080p these days. If anything the next step will be 4k resolution which will be more likely for projectors IMO. The TV manufacturers tried that upgrade gimmick with 3D and they haven't made much headway.
      • I kinda doubt it. Realistically, the old NTSC resolution standard was around from 1941 (slightly upgraded in 1953 to accommodate color broadcasts) and went until 2009 with many people still complaining about the changeover.

        Many people I know still buy DVD's over BluRay (even if they own Bluray players) merely because they're cheaper. Hell even as an HDTV owner who enjoys HD I can't even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p unless I'm looking at two images side-by-side.

        I personally just can't see any

    • by wye43 ( 769759 )

      Indeed, this is a troubled business line.

      Pioneer went BOOM long time ago, with many others. RIP Kuro /sigh
      Sony display sold to Samsung.
      Panasonic moving its factories to China and focusing on cutting costs and zero R&D, after the QA disaster at the Czech republic factory (most 2011 plasmas had insane green tint and fluctuating brightness).

      The only real players left in the TV business are Samsung and LG and they are both operating on heavy losses on TV lines.
      Not only we will not come up with new stuff, we

  • I know these things are just coincidence, but I found it interesting since Samsung and Apple are in a love/hate relationship. Samsung Display Co. will go live on April 1, 2012. Apple was started on April 1, 1976. Samsung had an operating loss of $666 million (and change), the Apple 1 sold for $666 (and change). :-)
  • The move, which now awaits shareholder approval, has been rumored for months since Samsung's LCD business announced operating losses of $666 million in 2011, citing sluggish TV sales.

    Those operating losses are E-vil. Like it's the frew-its of the Dev-il. E-vil. []

  • Samsung has not left the CRT business, has still been making the flatter CRT models in Malaysia. But they skipped the 5th year retooling a year ago, which is a sign they are going to run the ship into the ground. I wonder whether the write offs on that CRT division will go to the new company:

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors