Samsung’s First OLED TV Launched At US $13,000
Samsung, the world’s biggest TV manufacturer, has placed a $13,000 price tag on its first curved super-thin OLED television to go on sale in South Korea. It is more than five times the cost of LCD televisions of the same size, but similarly priced as rival LG Electronics Inc.
At the moment, OLED televisions are still very much a niche market and Samsung warned that industry forecasts for sales growth were a bit too optimistic. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology has long been touted as the future of consumer electronics displays, offering crisper picture resolution, a faster response time and high contrast images. It also allows for curved televisions, which manufacturers say offer a more immersive TV experience.
By 2004 Samsung was the world’s largest manufacturer of OLEDs, with a 40 percent market share worldwide and as of 2010 had a 98% share of the global AMOLED market. The company generated $100.2 million out of the total $475 million revenues in the global OLED market in 2006. In 2009, Samsung sold around 31 million flat-panel televisions, enabling to it to maintain the world’s largest market share for a fourth consecutive year.
“We have just introduced our first OLED TV and have to see consumer response to gauge overall market demand,” said Kim Hyunsuk, Samsung executive vice president.
Both Samsung and LG have invested heavily in OLED, seeking to emulate the success they had with LCDs, which helped them squash Japanese rivals such as Sony Corp and allowed them to capture coveted roles as suppliers for Apple Inc. In-fact this South Korean duo now sell almost half of all TVs worldwide.
Research firm ‘DisplaySearch’ has forecast global industry-wide sales of OLED televisions at 50,000 this year, at 600,000 next year and rapid growth thereafter to reach 7 million in 2016. Samsung said it will begin selling its curved OLED television outside South Korea from July but did not specify which countries.