Research firm DisplaySearch estimates that 35,200 OLED TVs were sold globally in the first quarter of 2015. OLED is still a niche but LG believes that sales will rise in the second half of the year and coming years.
OLED is still a niche
It feels like OLED has been just around the corner for years. Way back in 2008, Sony released its tiny 11-inch model and in 2013 Samsung and LG launches OLED TVs in living room formats. Since then, the market has moved on from HD to 4K so HD OLEDs never really took off.
35,200 units sold in the first quarter of 2015 confirms that OLED is still a niche. The numbers translates to approximately 400 per day globally. LG is the only company producing the panels and DisplaySearch estimates that 31,200 were sold as LG TVs while the rest were sold by Chinese manufacturers Skyworth (2300), Hisense (1100), Konka (1100) and Changhong (100). LG supplies OLED panels to all four.
LG is still trying to ramp up production of 4K OLED. The new models were launched in the US and a few other regions in spring, and LG is expanding to more regions such as Australia and the Nordic countries this month. A larger expansion, along with more models, is expected in autumn.
LG expects to sell 600,000 panels based on the new display technology this year, based on a stronger second half of the year. Next year, sales of HD and 4K OLEDs are expected to hit the 1.5 million mark and in 2020 LG hopes to sell over 12 million 4K OLEDs. The numbers represent OLED panels that LG also sells to other TV brands.
LG said earlier that the company expects OLED to become cheaper than LCD some years from now.