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LG and Samsung shake hands over LCDs

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Samsung and LG are going to buy each others' LCD panels. Samsung wants 37in displays, while LG needs 52in screens. Each will source said sizes from the other.

The details of the deal have yet to be finalised, the two South Korean firms said. They'll have dotted Is and crossed Ts by the end of July, at which point they'll each know how many panels they're ordering and how much they'll be paying for them.

The deal will come as a blow to Taiwanese panel makers, who've been supplying the two firms with panels of the named sizes to date. Samsung currently gets all its 37in LCDs from Taiwan, Korean media report, though LG relies on the island for only 34 per cent of its 52in panels.

A couple of months ago, LG said it would also be buying 52in panels from Sharp, which also supplies it with 32in panels. Sharp has a tenth-generation panel production partnership in place with Sony, which happens to be also working with Samsing on 8G panels, through their S-LCD joint-venture.

And you thought all these folks were competitors...

When it comes to LCD TVs, they certainly are. Panel production may be a co-operative venture, but taking the screens, equipping them with image processing technology and tuners is another matter.

Samsung is currently the world's leading LCD panel maker. LG is second.

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