CES 2014: No more Samsung OLED TVs for '3 to 4 years'

Samsung leaves the door open for LG to gain stranglehold on the market

by hodg100 Jan 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM

  • So, now we know why OLED was a virtual no-show from Samsung at CES 2014.
    Speaking in an interview with USA Today, S Kim, Samsung's vice president for visual displays broke some worrying news for the imminent future of OLED TVs, as a mass market proposition.

    The reason for this, according to Kim, will come as no great surprise to most readers – they are very difficult to manufacture and, because of that, prices are far too high for the regular consumer to stomach.
    OLED is even more difficult to manufacture than first thought
    In fact, Kim said they were even more difficult to manufacture than first expected, hence the eye-watering price-tags.

    "Not many consumers tried to purchase OLED TVs at that price," Kim said. "Price was our greatest barrier. So our attempt to expand the market didn't really go well."

    When asked by the Interviewer what he thought about the future of OLED, Kim remarked:

    "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."

    The lack of new OLED’s has certainly been one of the let-downs of this year’s CES, although we have seen an entire range from LG and a smattering from Chinese manufacturers.

    LG recently confirmed that they’d opened new OLED TV fabrication plants in 5 territories outside South Korea so they, at least, seem genuinely serious about making the technology a mainstream consumer proposition; albeit at prices that are still very high.

    We find it a little strange that Samsung is willing to give their fiercest competition such a head start in OLED. The videophile market may be small but many of us are waiting on OLED as the natural successor to plasma and we’d hoped more companies would be ready to roll with it in 2014.
    Lack of OLED was one of the let-downs at CES 2014
    Panasonic were one we were hoping would have a domestic OLED TV ready for Las Vegas but all they had were conceptual models, although they were keen to point out that their production method is all in-house and that they would announce one as soon as they were ready.

    So what does this mean for the immediate future of OLED: are LG really that far ahead of the rest of the major players in their manufacturing processes or are they happy just to go it alone and make themselves the de facto major player in the market, regardless of costs?

    And what about the Chinese and Taiwanese brands – will they look to exploit the gap in the market by launching hard and fast?

    There are more questions than answers at present.


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