LG to ship 50,000 OLEDs this year

A 55″ OLED TV set will likely cost $10,000 but South Korea’s LG said June 5 that it expected to sell 50,000 of them to well-heeled TV fans around the world. OLED (Organic Light-emitting Diode) sets are brighter, less heavy and are generally considered the next ‘big thing’ and as likely replacements for the Plasma, LCD and LED-based sets that currently dominate consumer electrical stores.

The downside is the price. At $10,000 a unit the sets will retail at about three-to-four times the cost of a currently high-specified ‘smart’ LED set from the likes of Samsung.

However, the sales numbers suggested by LG is still significant considering that volume production doesn’t begin to kick in for a few weeks yet.  It seems that LG is confident that there are enough high-earning sports celebrities, movie and music stars, Russian oligarchs and Middle East princes to justify the sales targets.

Not to be outdone, LG’s South Korean rival Samsung said its own 55″ OLED set will emerge this half-year, although did not reveal a retail price or target sales numbers.

Nevertheless, the TV industry now expects OLEDs to start replacing sales of other sets. Volumes this year might be modest but as production volumes increase, and retail prices inevitably fall, and the likes of Sony, Panasonic and others come in with their own supplies, retailers will have something new to shout about.

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