Sony Reportedly Stopping OLED Development; Other TV Makers Increase Investments
Nikkei News reported this week that Sony has decided to stop its development of large screen OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TVs, and will devote its resources to Ultra HDTV (4K) LCD instead.
This comes at time when other companies are making big investments in large-screen OLED panels.
All the news after the jump.
OLED is often cited as the best display technology due to its ability to produce inky blacks, very high brightness, highly saturated colors, and very wide viewing angles all within a wafer thin form factor. HD Guru believes the OLED will be the successor to plasma TV technology as it shares many of its best qualities, plus provides other benefits, including low power consumption.
Check out our reports of the recent Samsung and LG OLEDs. Here are the big 5 TV makers plans for OLED according to various news stories out of Asia this week,
Samsung OLED TV Plans
According to various reports, Samsung is currently not producing its 55-inch OLED panels (we could not find any inventory of its 55-inch OLED HDTV). However, according to Digitimes Research this week, Samsung made $4 billion investment into the technology last year and plans to spend $3-5 billion in 2014. This includes both small panels that can be used in portable devices as well as large screen OLED 4K televisions. However, there was another report this week that Samsung cancelled the planned construction of a new “large-panel” OLED factory scheduled for this year.
LG OLED TV
LG plans to add to its two 55-inch OLED HDTV line (one is curved) with the introduction of 65- and 77-inch curved Ultra HD (4K) OLEDs for the second half of 2014. To make it a happen, LG plans to make over $3 billion in capital expenditures for development of these UHDTV OLED panels. These will be the first UHD OLED TVs available for purchase.
Sharp OLED TV
Sharp and Taiwan- based AU Optronics have capital expenditures of $830 million this year toward OLED development. We have yet to see Sharp OLEDs.
Panasonic OLED TV
It is also reported Panasonic will move forward with its inkjet printed UHD (3840 x 2160) OLED panels. However, it delayed mass production from 2015 to 2016. This timeline aligns with our article regarding an unnamed company taking delivery of printed large screen OLED manufacturing equipment.
With Sony out of the picture, we find it likely that Panasonic is the customer for the OLED fabrication equipment, with Epson providing the inkjet printing technology and inks produced by German chemical giant Merck.
Market research firm iSuppli projects OLED TV production to grow from 50,000 units in 2014 to 10 million per year by 2018.
According to marketing research company DisplaySearch, OLED TV will grow to 33% of worldwide TV sales by 2017 as LCD TVs are expected to see a gradual decline in popularity. DisplaySearch claims large screen panel pricing will reach price parity with LCD at that time.
Sony lost $248 million its TV division during its last fiscal year. By jettisoning its OLED development and concentrating on LED LCD HD and 4K technologies it plans to regain profitability. We believe this will be challenging, as 4K TV prices already have begun to erode due to the stiff competition from Samsung and LG and others.
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