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OLED TVs will still be sold by Sony in America and Europe

Sony is one of the largest electronics makers in the world. The company is big in gaming, TVs, and computers among other categories and is working hard to bring next generation devices to market.

Sony bet big on OLED screens for TVs and was the first to bring an OLED set to market with its 11-inch XEL-1 OLED TV which debuted in late 2007. The XEL-1 was undeniably sexy, but it was small and had a price equating to about $1,744 USD  when it debuted in Japan. Sony announced in November of 2007 that it would be bringing the XEL-1 to America. In early 2008, Sony announced that it was spending $200 billion on OLED manufacturing technology.

Today the OLED screens used in TVs are hard to mass produce and have high defective rates making them expensive to produce. Sony also now has competition in the OLED TV market from rival electronics firms. Sony announced this week that it is pulling the plug on its OLED TV in Japan. Sony cites sluggish demand as the main reason for stopping sales reports Reuters. Sony does plan to continue selling the XEL-1 in America and Europe.

OLED TVs promise significant improvements over LCD sets for users with less power consumption, thinner screens, and better image quality. The problem is that the screens are difficult to make and expensive to produce.

DisplaySearch analyst Hisakazu Torii said, "As flat panel TVs are getting bigger and cheaper, hurdles for OLED models have become higher, at least in the short term."

Sony will continue to sell the XEL-1 in Japan until its current supply runs out. A Sony spokesman said that the company intends to continue to consider new products and applications for OLED screens. Estimates have Sony selling only 2,000 OLED TVs in all of 2009.

The Financial Times reports that the reason Sony is removing the OLED set from the Japanese market is a regulatory change that meant the TV would have to be redesigned and with the low demand it wasn't feasible for Sony.



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RE: this is frustrating
By Omega215D on 2/16/2010 10:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just happy that there are affordable IPS displays available from HP and Dell should I ever feel the need to get one.

Luckily Samsung is hard at work on AMOLED everything... more of their phones and PMPs will sport AMOLEDs which should be great. Maybe in the near future Samsung will have a moderate sized TV featuring AMOLED.


RE: this is frustrating
By amanojaku on 2/16/2010 10:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe in the near future Samsung will have a moderate sized TV featuring AMOLED.
Don't hold your breath. I pointed out in an article last week that we were about 10 years away from consumer-grade (32"-55" @ $500-$2,000) OLED TVs of any size and people laughed.
quote:
You think we'll be buying 46" $1,000 AMOLED TVs in five years? FIVE? Today you can only get ONE OLED TV: an 11" Sony XEL-1 for $2,500. It's been out for two years and hasn't seen a competitor, replacement or price drop larger than $300. In 10 years we should be lucky if we can buy a 46" OLED PERIOD. There's too much wrong with OLED at the moment, and the worst of it is the limited lifespan.
There have been no plans to move forward with OLED because LCD with LED backlighting has become viable and relatively inexpensive. OLED is another challenge entirely, and consumer TVs were originally scheduled for 2010-2015. The economy is in the toilet so no one is going to buy an 11" TV for $2,500 (the original price of the XEL-1 in the US). Profits in general are down across standard TVs. There simply isn't any money for the R&D required to get OLED to market for a TV in the "near future".


RE: this is frustrating
By sigmatau on 2/16/2010 7:24:16 PM , Rating: 1
I don't agree. OLED should have good market penetration within 3 years. LED LCDs are still under plasma in terms of picture quality so they still have a ways to go.

Samsung has been giving away smart phones with touchscreen AMOLEDs for about a year. The price is coming down very quickly.


RE: this is frustrating
By amanojaku on 2/16/2010 8:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
OLED will NOT have significant TV market penetration in three years. You can't even get a panel larger than 30" for a custom built demo unit. Samsung, the world leader in OLEDs, supposedly said in Oct. 2008 that the largest OLED display that could be mass produced is 30". So why haven't we seen anything larger than the 11" Sony? Because:

1) OLED display production has a high defect rate
2) OLED displays aren't cheap at any size
3) OLED displays have a short lifespan
4) OLED colors are slightly off to compensate for the uneven RGB lifetime

A 32" OLED display at $1,500 is feasible in five years. A reasonably priced 32" display to replace your $400 TV is about 10 years away. In the next three years OLED will completely replace LCD in screens smaller than 5", and may become standard on laptops.


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