Samsung delays huge investment in a new OLED factory, as the global smartphone market slows down

- Adrian Ungureanu

In the business world you know when things are going to get bad when a huge investment is delayed by an important company. Samsung announced last year that it’ll build a new OLED factory in South Korea and the budget is 1 trillion won, which is about 925 million dollars.

But seven months later no real progress has been made and is seems that Samsung has decided to reconsider its planned 1 trillion won (US$925 million) investment in its new OLED plant, possibly due to growing uncertainties in global smartphone sales.

Local news outlet The Bell reported that the display-making unit of Samsung Electronics is reviewing the investment plans for the new A5 plant from scratch, with related equipment orders also being suspended.

But the report said almost no progress has been made in the plant construction over the past six months. “Construction work has not started on the plant site and they just keep digging the land,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying in the report.

Uncertainties about the market demand seems to be the key issue as the global smartphone market is showing some signs of negative growth, largely driven by slowing sales in China.

According to market tracker Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments in China decreased 3.1 percent to 117 million units in the third quarter last year compared to the previous quarter. The fourth-quarter shipment is also estimated to see a further 4.3 percent decline.

A Samsung spokesperson declined to confirm the report.