By Khurram Aziz email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 05, 2013 11:29 AM EST
LG has launched its first OLED TVs in South Korea after taking orders for the 55-inch sets at 11 million won, or $10,300.
The TV, which features the new display technology based on organic light-emitting diodes, is reportedly thinner than Apple's iPad and consumes less power than current liquid-crystal displays. LG is hoping that its OLED TVs will revive the fortunes of a flagging TV market, where consumers are switching to mobile devices to watch video.
LG, the world's No.2 TV manufacturer, promises delivery of the new TVs from early February, with plans to display them at 1,400 retail outlets in South Korea. The sets will arrive in the United States, Europe and other Asian markets during the first quarter of 2013.
Sony was the first company to showcase OLED TVs with its 11-inch offering in 2007, but the Japanese company failed to follow up with a bigger display.
LG's main rival, Samsung, is also planning a 55-inch OLED TV set for 2013. Both companies showcased their new screens at CES last year and were expected to launch them in August. However, mass production challenges and anticipated high retail prices caused delays.
The Web site My Broadband, citing a report from DisplaySearch, says global OLED TV sales are forecast to explode from 50,000 units this year to 1.7 million units in 2014.
"That is still only a fraction of the roughly 250 million TVs of all kinds expected to be sold worldwide in 2013," said the Web site.
Sophia Kim, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities, told My Broadband that the launch of LG's OLED TV has more of a symbolic meaning for the company, proving that it is ahead of its rivals.
"It will take another two to three years for OLED sets to become more affordable and thus commercially successful, because consumers will start buying them when prices halve to around 5 million won."
Last year, Sony and Panasonic announced a partnership to jointly produce large OLED display panels, but neither company has made any further announcements.