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Gadgets & Home Improvement

OLED TVs don't make economic sense: Experts

They seem impossibly expensive for screens that are larger than phones, tablets and cameras.
Asia One - May 29, 2013
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OLED TVs don't make economic sense: Experts


Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, two Korean companies that are leading the world's television market, appear to be in a forced race to churn out sets fitted with organic light emitting displays, but experts believe the competition will soon become meaningless.
"The technology simply will not stretch that far to make it affordable for the mass consumer market," said one display expert, declining to be identified.
He figured that at most, the two companies would each sell 100 units once Samsung launched its sets later this year as it has said.
Each company claims to have the lead in OLED TVs despite experts being sceptical of whether OLED will really set new standards in display technology, mostly because they seem impossibly expensive for screens that are larger than phones, tablets and cameras.
LG has already started to ship its flagship 55-inch flat models that sport a price tag of more than US$1,000 (S$1,260). It is now taking orders for curved OLED TVs. LG Electronics was the first to showcase such sets to the world.
"Samsung doesn't want to be in this game. It knows that OLED TVs are not the answer. For LG too, it knows there's no money coming from OLED TVs, but it has to compete and beat Samsung, so that's the rationale behind their rivalry in this segment," the industry expert added.
Whether these TVs will become competitive in overseas markets is another problematic issue.
"I'm not sure whether Samsung will ship OLED this year to Europe. It would confuse the 4K2K message to do so. Samsung's presentation at IFA GPC seemed to be very carefully thought through," Paul Gray, head of the European TV segment at DisplaySearch, told The Korea Herald.
He said OLED was not expected to endure, adding that LG Electronics' shipments were "scarcely 100" in the first quarter.
In comparison, DisplaySearch forecast the global market for Ultra HD TVs to grow to see worldwide shipments reaching 3.9 million units next year.
By 2015, the shipments are expected to hit 6.88 million to further grow to 9.87 million in 2016. For this year, it sees shipments at around 930,000.
Ultra HD TVs are four times sharper than full HD TVs and cheaper than those with OLED displays.
Samsung recently unveiled an 85-inch Ultra HD TV - the world's first - and is now set to release 55-inch and 65-inch models next month, all at "reasonable and affordable prices," according to Kim Hyun-seok, Samsung Electronics' head of the TV division.
The upside of OLED is that it's rated to be up to 1,000 times faster than the conventional LED-backlit LCD panels, is superior to plasma screens that are fast dying in the market, devoid of blur, detailed and energy saving.
The downside is the price and the low manufacturing yield, not to mention that there is currently almost no content that is compatible with the high-end colour range offered by OLED TVs.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, two Korean companies that are leading the world's television market, appear to be in a forced race to churn out sets fitted with organic light emitting displays, but experts believe the competition will soon become meaningless.

"The technology simply will not stretch that far to make it affordable for the mass consumer market," said one display expert, declining to be identified.

He figured that at most, the two companies would each sell 100 units once Samsung launched its sets later this year as it has said.

Each company claims to have the lead in OLED TVs despite experts being sceptical of whether OLED will really set new standards in display technology, mostly because they seem impossibly expensive for screens that are larger than phones, tablets and cameras.

LG has already started to ship its flagship 55-inch flat models that sport a price tag of more than US$1,000 (S$1,260). It is now taking orders for curved OLED TVs. LG Electronics was the first to showcase such sets to the world.

"Samsung doesn't want to be in this game. It knows that OLED TVs are not the answer. For LG too, it knows there's no money coming from OLED TVs, but it has to compete and beat Samsung, so that's the rationale behind their rivalry in this segment," the industry expert added.

Whether these TVs will become competitive in overseas markets is another problematic issue.

"I'm not sure whether Samsung will ship OLED this year to Europe. It would confuse the 4K2K message to do so. Samsung's presentation at IFA GPC seemed to be very carefully thought through," Paul Gray, head of the European TV segment at DisplaySearch, told The Korea Herald.

He said OLED was not expected to endure, adding that LG Electronics' shipments were "scarcely 100" in the first quarter.

In comparison, DisplaySearch forecast the global market for Ultra HD TVs to grow to see worldwide shipments reaching 3.9 million units next year.

By 2015, the shipments are expected to hit 6.88 million to further grow to 9.87 million in 2016. For this year, it sees shipments at around 930,000.

Ultra HD TVs are four times sharper than full HD TVs and cheaper than those with OLED displays.

Samsung recently unveiled an 85-inch Ultra HD TV - the world's first - and is now set to release 55-inch and 65-inch models next month, all at "reasonable and affordable prices," according to Kim Hyun-seok, Samsung Electronics' head of the TV division.

The upside of OLED is that it's rated to be up to 1,000 times faster than the conventional LED-backlit LCD panels, is superior to plasma screens that are fast dying in the market, devoid of blur, detailed and energy saving.

The downside is the price and the low manufacturing yield, not to mention that there is currently almost no content that is compatible with the high-end colour range offered by OLED TVs.


 

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