The move is sure to hurt market leader Samsung as LG will have a head start in the new category, which, according to DisplaySearch data, is expected to grow to 7.2 million units by 2016.
Competition between LG and Samsung has been fierce. Samsung had hoped to bring OLED to Australians before Christmas of 2012, but the company struggled with manufacturing the panels in bulk.
OLED panels are renowned for their wide viewing angles, vibrant colour reproduction, fluent blacks and small bodies. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology works by burning each pixel when a current passes through it. The process has been described as ‘controlled self-destruction’ and, as a result, vendors have had a tough time ensuring OLED televisions maintain quality later on in their life cycles.
LG President and CEO of Home Entertainment praised the technology, saying “not since color TV was first introduced 60 years ago has there been a more transformational moment.
“When high definition TV was first introduced 15 years ago, the public’s reaction was ‘wow!’ but when customers see our razor-thin OLED TV for the first time, they’re left speechless. That’s a clear indicator as any that OLED TV is much more than just an incremental improvement to current television technology.”
LG’s 55EM9700 television is only 4mm deep, weighs less than 10 kilograms, features a white sub pixel in addition to the customary Red, Green & Blue, and offers an “infinite contrast ratio, which maintains optimal contrast levels regardless of ambient brightness or viewing angle.”
It is being sold in South Korea for KRW 11 million ($US10,000) and LG has promised to announce when it will be available in other markets “over the next several weeks along with their respective prices.”
Update: LG’s head of marketing, Lambro Skropidis, confirmed a 55 inch OLED Television will go on sale in Australia by late March with a tentative price of $11,999.