Uh Oh! Is OLED in Trouble?

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Via The Register comes some disturbing news for those of us who’ve been championing OLED TVs. Apparently, LG and Samsung are losing confidence in the technology for several reasons: firstly, most of the prototypes we’ve seen of working OLED tech have been 55-inch models set to hit the market for around $10,000, which kinda flies in the face of market trends toward ultra-large, ultra-cheap sets. Secondly, manufacturing has been tricky, with apparently as little as ten percent of manufactured OLED panels being workable, and with the glass soldering process used to make the displays resulting in some fragility.

Apparently, timing is also bad, with 4K “Ultra HD” TVs set to be the big thing on the market next year.

So it looks like marketable OLED TVs may be at least another year away in any appreciable numbers, which sucks, because OLED stands to improve picture quality for the vast majority of viewers way more than an increase in resolution ever will, as my buddy Geoff pointed out in a story for CNET earlier this year.

Don’t give up hope just yet, true believers, but if this turns out to be true, it’s definitely disheartening.

Via: [The Register]

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  • Jerry Stuckle

    I’m not overly surprised, but I hope they don’t abandon it completely. OLED technology is still pretty new and has a lot of bugs in the manufacturing process (remember when plasmas first came out? They had similar problems). Manufacturers will work out the problems eventually, but only if someone keeps trying to improve the manufacturing process.

    I think eventually we’ll see OLEDs come way down in price, but it’s going to take a while. They’ll still be more expensive than LED TVs (which will also continue to drop in price), but people will go for the better picture when the price is more competitive.

  • Steve Faber

    Well, it’s just easy marketing, to an extent. Just about any consumer can understand that 4K is better than 2K. After all, more is better, and it’s a much easier sell, especially when people walk into Costco on a regular basis and behold the best TV they’ve ever seen, in 60 glorious inches, for $1,729.

    You could show them that OLED is better, but at such a price differential, all but the wealthy early adopters will choose what’s available now. As a step up, 4K will still be less than 4K, and once again, an easier explanation, especially for big box sales people.

    The custom channel could use OLED though, and it’s a shame to see it pushed back another year.