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LG set to lead OLED TV market

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Published : 2014-04-13 19:52
Updated : 2014-04-13 19:52

LG Electronics, the nation’s second-largest television maker, is expected to have the upper hand in the growing organic light-emitting diode television markets with a higher yield rate and better technology than its rivals, according to market analysts.

DisplaySearch’s report said curved TVs are projected to hit 6 million units in 2017 in the global market, a sharp increase from 800,000 units this year. Among them, OLED TVs are set to account for 33 percent, or 2 million units, in 2017 with the gradual decline in LCD TVs.

The boost in curved OLED TVs along with flat OLED TVs would give LG an edge over Samsung, which has stopped producing and selling OLED TVs, analysts said.

“LG Electronics, which is better at developing large display panels than Samsung, will hold the lead in curved OLED TVs though it may take some time for curved OLED TVs to become prevalent in the market,” said Nam Dae-joon, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities. 
Customers take pictures of an LG Electronics curved OLED television in Seoul. ( Bloomberg)

Experts said LG will also gain the lead in the overall OLED TV market, in which 10 million units are expected to be sold in 2018.

“Along with the curved panels, LG will also gain an edge in flat OLED TVs as its WRGB (white, red, green, blue)-OLED technology has a higher yield rate than Samsung’s RGB (red, green, blue)-OLED,” said Yi Choong-hoon, CEO of the local display firm UBI Research.

WRGB-OLED reportedly has higher productivity and has 2 million more pixels than RGB-OLED, displaying more natural color. Chinese display makers, who are latecomers in OLED technologies, have also adopted WRGB-OLED recently.

Analysts said that though Samsung adopted OLED technology somewhat earlier than LG, it appears to trail its rival now. Even with curved smartphones, which were rolled out by both companies last year, LG’s G Flex was viewed as slightly superior to Samsung’s Galaxy Round, though both have shown lackluster performance in the market.

This June, LG Electronics said it would unveil 65-inch and 77-inch ultrahigh definition OLED TVs.

At issue will be whether the company can lower the price of OLED TVs, which have long been shunned in the market due to their high price. The price of LG’s 55-inch curved OLED TVs has dropped to around $6,000 from $15,000 when it first hit the market last July.

Meanwhile, Samsung is not scheduled to unveil curved OLED TVs this year because of its continued focus on UHD TVs and its low yield rate.

As Japan’s Sony and Panasonic also stopped developing OLED TVs last year, LG will be the sole producer of curved OLED TVs for the time being, an industry source said.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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