In a single week during IFA 2016 in Berlin, the number of OLED TV manufacturers jumped from 2 to 8. This could be the breakthrough for the new display technology. Here is an overview of which manufacturers joined the OLED camp, when the TVs will be available, and at what price.
8 OLED TV manufacturers
Before IFA in Berlin kicked off in early September, there were only 2 manufacturers of OLED TVs (if you exclude the Chinese market). LG was obviously one of them since it is LG’s display division, LG Display, which supplies all manufacturers with OLED TV panels. Panasonic was the other.
Now there are 8 (soon 9) OLED TV manufacturers.
Samsung and Sony are still standing firm, trying instead to squeeze the last drops out of LCD technology. However, the message is clear: LG has opened the floodgates and OLED is no longer reserved for the few. If a manufacturer wants to sell an OLED TV under its own brand, it is now possible.
The following manufacturers have (or will soon launch) OLED TVs.
At this point LG is more or less synonymous with OLED because it is LG Display – the conglomerate’s display arm – that produces all OLED TV panels today. That will change in the future but it obviously means that LG has the broadest line-up of OLED TVs at the moment. LG offers OLED TVs in 55, 65 and 77” (EG9100, B6, C6, E6, G6).
Prices for LG’s 2016 TVs start at $2500. They are offered in flat and curved variants; all with Ultra HD, HDR and Dolby Vision.
Panasonic was the second manufacturer to launch an OLED TV. This happened in late 2015 with the 65” CZ950 that was priced at a cool 10.000 Euro.
Panasonic has already given a glimpse of next year’s OLED TV and has promised to reveal more information ”later this winter”, presumably at CES 2017 this January. No price indication was given.
Loewe launched - like many others - its first OLED TV at IFA 2016 in Berlin in the form of bild 7, which is available now in Europe in 55 and 65-inch sizes. Bild 7 supports the Dolby Vision HDR format, just like LG’s OLED TVs.
In early 2017 Loewe will add another OLED model, bild 9, to the line-up. This TV will mark the beginning of a new design language at Loewe. It will also compete with Danish Bang & Olufsen’s first OLED TV that will arrive in 2017.
Rumors had swirled for years and there has been no doubt as to Philips’ interest in OLED. The only question was when. At IFA 2016 earlier this month, Philips finally launched its first OLED TV with the 55” 901F that will be available in Q4 2016 at a price around 3.499-4000 Euro, depending on your region.
The TV will not be available in the US where the Philips TV brand is managed by another company. Rumor goes that Philips will expand the line-up with a 65” model next year but we have not been able to confirm that with the company.
Grundig still exists and at IFA the company unveiled its first OLED TV in the form of a 65” model with model name 65LO9790. It is produced by Tyrkish Arçelik who has licensed the rights to the Grundig TV brand.
The TV will be available in Europe but the official price has not been announced. In the Nordic countries it will sell for around 6500 Euro.
Metz, the German manufacturer, will later in 2016 launch 55 and 65-inch OLED TVs. The TVs are available in select European countries for 4999 and 6999 Euro, Metz announced at the IFA show.
Vestel is producing TVs under more established brand names such as Toshiba, Finlux, Hitachi and Medion. This makes them Europe’s largest manufacturer of TVs if you count all the sub-brands.
At IFA, Vestel unveiled a 65” OLED TV that will launch in Turkey later this year. The price was not announced but since Vestel is producing TVs under OEM license for several other brands it looks likely that Vestel’s engagement will help bring OLED technology to more tier 2 TV brands.
Arçelik is also producing TVs for other more established brands. It is Arçelik who is producing Grundig’s OLED TV and if you study the photos you will see that the two TVs look almost identical.
At IFA, Arçelik announced its own OLED TV that will be sold in Turkey for around 3800 Euro. It has not been confirmed if it will launch in other European countries but you can obviously argue that it will under the Grundig brand.
Bang & Olufsen
Lastly, we have Danish Bang & Olufsen. While B&O has yet to unveil its first OLED TV, the company has confirmed that it will launch the TV in 2017 in a partnership with LG. Bang & Olufsen could be the ninth brand to launch an OLED TV in Europe – depending on when in 2017 it launches.
You can learn more about what the partnership with LG entails here.
Lower prices in 2017?
Most of what happened at IFA 2016 is directed at Europe. We expect a similar wave of announcements for the US market at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this January.
All this gives us hope that prices on OLED TVs could drop in 2017. Of course, LG Display remains the only supplier of OLED TV panels so far, which gives it a lot of control, but the company has kicked production into a new gear, which should help bring down production costs.