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Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the focusing-on-rotating-lcds dept.

Displays 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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60 comments

Fools Day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39102453)

Samsung announces that they will push the launch party off back 6 months

Re:Fools Day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39105491)

Makes sense given that only a fool would buy their over priced televisions.

Perhaps they should try building fewer models with better quality.

As long as they keep up the quality (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102461)

I am really not that concerned for the split.

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39103671)

Quality? I've had 3 samsung 30inch monitors they've ALL failed, and their customer service is beyond woeful. It takes months and months and many phone calls with them to get your money back after they've promised they're sending out new ones. Dell on the other hand I had one of those go wrong and the next day I had a replacement. This isn't limited to just their monitors, if ever you think about buying a Samsung product slap some sense into yourself and move right past it!

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104175)

That's unfortunate. I've had no difficult problems with Samsung myself. In fact, they've proven quite dependable to me, and I've owned a good number of them over the years. I only had to deal with customer service once and they got the problem fixed without any bullshit.

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39104711)

I had 2 samsung CRTs.. both started getting blurry after a year.. completely unusable after 18-24 months. haven't bought another samsung monitor since.

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39105647)

I can second this one, I had syncmaster 957MB CRT monitor and it got REALLY blurry after 2 years. No amount of adjustment would help the problem.

Shame, the monitor was very good for the time I bought it otherwise.

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (1)

hlavac (914630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39107981)

Funny now you mention it I realize the only LCDs dying on me lately because of failing caps in backlight power supplies were all Samsung! (3 in the last few months)... I thought Samsung was trying to position themselves as a sort of high quality vendor? Clear fail in that respect.

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104995)

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 failing and I really like my Samsung TV (along with my Samsung phone and blu-ray).

Re:As long as they keep up the quality (2)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39106257)

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 drive business, with the break through in SSDs.

So big Samsung OLEDs in the not too distant future.

Resolution (4, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#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)

Re:Resolution (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102493)

I might actually give up my 100lbs CRT. Sweet.

Re:Resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39102517)

22" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro @ 2048x1536 right now.

Re:Resolution (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102647)

22" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro @ 2048x1536 right now.

Same here, except for mine being a 19" SB930. Same resolution, so higher DPI, so even better image.
Displays have gone downhill, resolution-wise, after LCDs became the norm. 1920x1080 is the standard for desktops now, and 1366x768 for 16:9 laptops, where old laptops were 1280x1024.

There are also more and more TN displays, which usually have far worse color reproduction than CRTs, and especially if viewed at any angle.

I love my CRT monitor more than my LCDs, and really wish that companies could go back to producing high end CRTs too. Samsung, alas, is unlikely to do so.

Re:Resolution (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102943)

Same here, except for mine being a 19" SB930. Same resolution, so higher DPI, so even better image.
Displays have gone downhill, resolution-wise, after LCDs became the norm. 1920x1080 is the standard for desktops now, and 1366x768 for 16:9 laptops, where old laptops were 1280x1024.

That's because HDTVs are really cheap. 1920x1080 displays re-use the same cheap video ICs used for 1080p TVs, and 1366x768 ones are the same for 720p+ displays. Because HDTVs sell by the millions, the display electronics are really cheap, and when your monitors are pushing "free" and sub-$100, it's what happens.

And yes, CRTs had this problem too - the crappy ass blurry-as-hell ones were what you got.

I love my CRT monitor more than my LCDs, and really wish that companies could go back to producing high end CRTs too. Samsung, alas, is unlikely to do so.

They still do. But you're looking at really expensive ones these days - they're now very niche products.

Displays are a commodity item. Hell, half os /. gets confused everytime Apple releases a 30" display, calling it overpriced at $1000 when you can pick up a 30" HDTV for under $200 (forgetting that the Dells and such with greater than 1080p resolutoin are also that high).

Very little profit is made from monitors - it's why if you want better than 720p or 1080p displays they cost way more - a 24" 1080p can be had for under $200, but a 24" 1920x1200 costs $400+. Of course, these displays are also better ones since there's less pricing pressure on them.

People want the cheap crap, so manufacturers deliver. It's why Apple only produces nicer displays at non-HDTV resolutions because there's money to be made that way, rather than fight with everyone else in the crowded 1080p/720p cutthroat market.

Re:Resolution (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104247)

>19"
>0.24mm dot pitch
>2048x1536

That must be blurry as fuck.

Re:Resolution (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127337)

Of course it's blurry. That's the idea. You bump up the resolution until you don't see individual pixels anymore, and treat the display as an anti-aliased display of a lower resolution. I.e. you bump up font and widget size accordingly by setting the correct DPI. A 10 pt font in a blurry 2048x1536 looks better than a 10 pt font in a sharp 1280x960. They're the exact same physical size, but the first one has a higher level of hinting which the latter one doesn't.
On LCDs, you don't have this option, and subsequently don't think in this manner, because there is a "native" resolution - a fixed DPI, and any resolution not pure divisibles of that have to be interpolated. CRTs don't have a native resolution, so running 2048x1536 instead of 1024x768 doesn't give you a pixel duplication and bad staircasing - it gives you four times as many actual pixels, with more blur. This is a win, much like enabling 4xFSAA, but better.

If you increase resolution to fit more on the screen, no, this is not for you. But if you increase it to improve the quality of what's on the screeen, increasing the DPI is one of the best way of doing it. On an LCD, you can't increase the DPI, but on a CRT, you can.

Re:Resolution (1)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104339)

I used some of the nicest CRT's ever made - Noxia 445xi, Sony GDM-FW900 - and they're great and all, but LCD's are better now if you actually buy a good one. Yes, TN film is just cheap and crappy - though good enough for most people's web browsing at lower power use and much less space that a CRT. But if you just buy a nice LCD - I'm on a Dell U3011 - it's sharper, bigger, higher resolution, faster and has wider color gamut than any CRT I've ever seen. Plus it still takes less power and less space. And you don't need to re-profile it every month. And you don't have to watch the contrast ratio fall each month after it gets to be six years old like heavily used CRT's do.

The only thing I can find not to like is that the stand sticks out in front of the display (to stop it from falling over forward since it's so thin, not a problem with an 85 lb 20" deep CRT) so I can't put my keyboard as close to the screen as I like it.

Re:Resolution (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39107317)

U3011: well, I had mentioned affordable.
That thing costs more than many gaming PC's (though a PC for gaming on that would be more expensive)

Re:Resolution (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39119481)

The only thing I can find not to like is that the stand sticks out in front of the display (to stop it from falling over forward since it's so thin, not a problem with an 85 lb 20" deep CRT) so I can't put my keyboard as close to the screen as I like it.

Assuming that your screen has the standard VESA mounting holes on the back as any decent one will (except Apple), you can buy a monitor stand and mount the monitor to the back of your desk. Monoprice [monoprice.com] has them about as cheap as you'll find anywhere, and that'll reclaim the desk space under the monitor for you.

Re:Resolution (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104275)

You didn't say which model your monitor is, so I can't find its dot pitch, but it is very unlikely that it's better than 0.21 mm, which is what you'd need to make 2048x1536 look good on 21" viewable.

Re:Resolution (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39104191)

I wish I still had ol' dependable. I miss CRTs and their ability to display virtually any resolution without looking like trash.

Re:Resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39102787)

"2560*1440 at 24inch or 27 inch will get atleast the monitor market moving again (and GPU market)"
Questionable reasoning as the market for pc driven displays is really cooked. The main reason that the tv market is going down the tube (pun intended) is that the much hyped 3d TV is a bust. The film industry is in a pickle trying to figure out why the crap content they hype is not bringing in the revenue that they need to offset the costs of 3D production.

Samsung is smart enough to realise that the entertainment industry is undergoing a major shift and to stay ahead of the curve cheap high resolution large screen technology is the ticket. Considering that TV are now essentially becoming all in one internet capable devices. Most high def tv is coming down the pipe in mpeg at 1920x1080I and the internet is not yet really capable of delivering content in definitions even at this rate. I suspect that Samsung is betting the farm on MP4 at high res and will be making their internet capable TVs much more energy efficient than current LCD/LED tech.

My Samsung UN40C5000 led is energy efficient compared to a similar LCD which uses over 200 watts. But if Samsung really works on what is possible in the future I can easily see televisions coming out that run ARM cores and a really efficient screen that uses less than 80 watts even at the highest brightness. As their core Linux based firmware becomes more advanced we will see all in one tvs that are fully querty and remote mouse capable as well. Essentially it is possible that cheap TVs will eventually completely replace the home PC and I think Samsung sees this coming.

Re:Resolution (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103281)

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.

Re:Resolution (1)

djrobxx (1095215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39107065)

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.

Re:Resolution (1)

kroyd (29866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103811)

Samsung has shown both pentile AMOLED and TFT displays at 10.1" / 2560x1600 resolution [ubergizmo.com]. 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 [youtube.com] and transparent [youtube.com] displays, so hopefully that 27" 8K display will come rolled up in a tube ready to hang on the wall.

Anything to do with Apple? (4, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102543)

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?

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102597)

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.

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102927)

If I read the summary right, they're keeping hold of the mobile display business. This seems to be their larger displays.

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39103175)

Thats the first thing i thought of.

We spin off this chunk of business and use it.... to tell apple to go pound sand. Because thats the only way they're getting a display anymore.

You sure Samsung provides them? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103217)

iPads look like IPS screens to me and that is pretty much all from LG.Displays. Samsung is more of a VA company.

Re:You sure Samsung provides them? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39108015)

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.

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103371)

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.

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39104437)

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?

Samsung is one of four suppliers of LCD screen to Apple

Re:Anything to do with Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39107843)

why? apple is buying samsung's flash memory as well

you can have it (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102691)

After reading the quote in the summary, the only thing I can think of is: you can have your eternal copyright.

Business faux pas (2)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102699)

No company should EVER do anything important on April 1.

Re:Business faux pas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39105997)

Apple was founded on April 1, 1976.

Re:Business faux pas (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39107161)

And spent the better part of a decade being a joke, and nearly going bankrupt, before wisely re-recruiting Steve Jobs.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39102717)

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shift to commodity (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102729)

High quality LED TV screens are becoming a commodity.

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

Re:shift to commodity (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102823)

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.

Re:shift to commodity (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103011)

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.

Re:shift to commodity (1)

GSloop (165220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103403)

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

-Greg

Re:shift to commodity (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39119577)

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.

Re:shift to commodity (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39119517)

The only problem with that is most (all?) OSes can't properly handle the subpixel font rendering for a rotated display.

Dell 2007FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39103441)

Dell still sells the 2007FP monitor (20", 1600x1200) for around $400.

It's like DRAM all over again. (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:It's like DRAM all over again. (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39102815)

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 !!!!

Re:It's like DRAM all over again. (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103037)

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, the next 5-10 years of their industry is saved.

Nah, that could never happen.

Re:It's like DRAM all over again. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103497)

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.

Re:It's like DRAM all over again. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103741)

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 benefit (at all) at going higher than 1080p for home viewing. I'm sure it'll eventually happen, but there are far more exciting areas of technology to keep an eye on.

Re:It's like DRAM all over again. (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39108051)

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 may even go back a few steps(CRT ... /shivers). Its going to be ugly. Real ugly.

Interesting coincidences with Apple (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39103147)

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). :-)

actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39107061)

samsung stuff is too bright in the dim conditions, and waste the light/batt in the bright conditions

Samsung CRT Factory (Klang, Malaysia) (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39107567)

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:
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