By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics plan to introduce a cadmium-free quantum dot TV (QD TV) next year.
The quantum dot LCD TV offers a high color range and similar picture quality as OLED screens, but at a far lower cost.
"We will release the cadmium-free QD TV next year," said an official at the company, Thursday.
QD technology was considered a risky venture because of the use of cadmium, a regulated substance due to environmental concerns.
To resolve the issue, Samsung joined hands with Dow Chemical to use cadmium-free QD electronic applications developed by the American chemical company, said officials and industry sources.
Dow Chemical recently started to produce cadmium-free QD materials at its plant in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.
Samsung will be able to produce QD televisions and related applications on a large scale next year when demand is expected to grow.
It partnered with other tech affiliates, including Samsung Display and Samsung Technology Center, with Samsung Electronics managing sales and distribution.
The company expects the cadmium-free QD TV to help expand its global market share. QD TV is a variant of LCD TV, meaning it needs no additional large-scale investment to build new manufacturing lines.
"Samsung will push a two-track approach in its TV business next year. One is LCD TVs for low- and mid-tier models, and the other is cadmium-free QD TVs," said an official at the Korea Display Industry Association.
As Samsung shifts its focus toward non-cadmium QD TVs, its chief rival LG Electronics is also mulling producing them.
"We plan to add non-cadmium QD TVs from next year to diversify our product lineup," said an executive at LG's TV business division.
LG Electronics is collaborating with LG Chem and Dow Chemical on cadmium-free QD materials. It plans to release its first cadmium-free QD TV at next January's International Consumer Electronics Show (ICES) in Las Vegas, the United States.
Samsung Electronics is also expected to choose ICES as the venue to release the new TV.
The QD TV is expected to account for 2 million sets or 1 percent the global TV market in 2015, but will approach 10 percent or 26 million sets in 2020, according to DisplaySearch.
"Korean makers may be thinking of repeating their experience with LED TV, when they led in both technology and volume. If QD TV is as successful as LED TV, it could extend the LCD TV era and hold off the threat of OLED TV," the research institute said.