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October 11, 2007

What And When Is The Future Of OLED TV?

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You've got to wonder with Sony's announcement last week that the company's 11-inch organic light-emitting diode display (OLED) TV will be on store shelves in December and yesterday's announcement by Samsung that they've started mass producing ultra thin flat panels and will double capacity by next year, what the future of OLED TV is? Is it a threat to LCD and plasma? And if so, how soon can we expect the battle to begin?

At the moment, with falling prices for LCD, plasma, and especially cathode-ray tube TV's, manufacturers are being forced to find different markets to move in to. For Samsung, they've bet on OLED as it's cheap to produce and consumes much less energy than current HDTV's, an important product feature in our era of climate change. Currently, however, the company's bet isn't on OLED panels overtaking the television market. It's on OLED taking over the mobile phone and portable media player markets. Manufacturers still believe OLED screens will be the future of TV, just not the near future.

Jeff Kim, analyst at Hyundai Securities, says that OLED will be the next-generation display but "we have to be realistic. The LCD and PDP markets are not mature yet and will still grow until 2010-11". Even if the time was now for OLED, he also says that "manufacturers will not be able to meet the break-even point because of price competition".

Just to illustrate how far in the future manufacturers are predicting OLED will take off, take a look at these statistics. The OLED TV market is expected to grow from an estimated $37 million in 2008 to an estimated $884 million in 2011. This massive increase over three years is expected to exceed the 15% increase in LCD demand forecasted over the same three year period. Even though the OLED market is expected to grow much faster than other flat panel markets over the three years from 2008-2011, the estimated LCD market in 2011 is $92 billion. That is a huge difference in market size.

So while we may see OLED screens more often in mobile technologies, it'll be a while before we really see any movement into the world of television.

Via Reuters

Read More in: Televisions

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Posted by Justin Davey at October 11, 2007 6:00 AM

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