Fewer OLED panels have to be discarded during production. Production yields on especially Ultra HD OLED TVs are improving fast, which could make UHD OLED TVs cheaper to buy for consumers very soon.
Six out of ten UHD OLEDs can be sold
OLED displays can deliver excellent picture quality but they are notoriously difficult to manufacture. So far, LG is the only one who has successfully managed to mass produce TV-sized OLEDs, and production is improving fast. Since the introduction two years ago, a Full HD OLED TV has fallen from $15,000 dollars to $2500.
One of the primary reasons for the price drop is that more OLED panels coming out of the production lines can be sold. In the beginning, yields (percentage that can be sold) were just 10%, meaning that only one in ten OLED displays could be sold to consumers. At the end of 2014, LG had improved yield for Full HD OLEDs to 80% and it is now over 80%. LG has previously said that OLED can compete with LCD on price when yield reaches 95%.
UHD OLED panels are still far more expensive because they are harder to produce. However, things are improving fast and LG reports that it has reached 65% yield. The goal is to reach 87%, 85% and 75% for 77", 65" and 55" UHD OLED panels, respectively, by the end of the year. If everything goes according to plan, LG will double production and likely reduce prices. LG also plans to supply other manufacturers with OLED panels by the end of 2015.
- "It has taken a year and half for us to raise the yield to this level (for OLEDs), while it'd taken nearly 10 years to achieve the yield for LCDs," said Yeo Sang-deog, head of LG Display's OLED division last month.
The company is working on a new "ink jet" production method that is expected to reduce costs further.
LG has launched its first Ultra HD TV in several regions and more models will follow later in 2015.