OLED TVs are still expensive, but for the first time prices have dropped below $6500 dollars. LG has taken the lead, as Samsung say they will need more time to bring prices down.
Update: It seems that LG has adjusted the price so it is now just below $7000 instead of yesterday's $6500.
LG takes the lead in OLED TV market
When the first OLED TVs hit the markets in 2013 they would set you back $15,000, but prices have dropped like a stone. LG’s OLED TV is now available for less than $6500 US dollars.
LG has certainly taken a lead in the OLED TV market. At CES 2014, LG not only exhibited impressive, flexible 77-inch OLED TV prototypes, but also introduced new cheaper OLED TVs and 4K OLED TVs that will launch this fall. At both IFA 2013 in Berlin and CES 2014 in Las Vegas, LG made it very clear that their objective is to lead the OLED market.
LG’s 4K OLED TVs will ship this autumn. LG’s flexible OLED TV furthest back
This stands in stark contrast to Samsung, who has yet to launch its OLED TV in several markets, missing announced launch dates by months. It seems that Samsung is struggling to scale up production, which comes as a surprise since Samsung already has a healthy production of OLED mobile displays. At CES 2014, Samsung had no new OLED TVs to announce and no new larger OLED prototypes or 4K OLED TVs.
- "I'm really, really terribly sorry to say this, but it will take more time... I believe it will take around three to four years," said HS Kim, Samsung to USA today when asked about cheaper OLED TVs.
Two different OLED technologies
Samsung and LG’s OLED technologies differ. Samsung uses true RGB (red, green, blue) pixels in its OLED panels. LG is using white OLED pixels with color filters in front. It seems that, at least in the short term, LG has chosen the better technology that allows them to bring down costs and scale up production faster than its rival. It even seems that LG can produce enough OLED panels to supply the Chinese manufacturers.
Sources have pointed out that at one point OLED production yields were as low as 10-20 %. In other words; only 10-20% of OLED panels coming out of the manufacturing lines were good enough to sell. Sources are now saying that LG is approaching 70% yield, and Samsung is at 40-50%.
LG’s 55” OLED TV is available for below $6500 dollars, whereas Samsung’s OLED TV still sells for just below $9000. LG will launch cheaper OLED TVs this spring and 4K OLED TVs this fall. However, LG tells us to expect its 4K OLED TVs to be more expensive than the introduction price of its current OLED TV.