LG Shipping $10,000 55-Inch OLED TV Next Month

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LG started the New Year with a bang, announcing today that it will begin accepting pre-orders for its 55-inch OLED TV this month, and start shipping them in South Korea early next month.

More than 1,400 LG retail stores in South Korea will begin accepting pre-orders Jan. 3 for the $10,000 product, with deliveries to commence the first week of February. LG expects to take the lead in the OLED TV segment as the first and only company to announce availability of the next-gen TV technology.

The 55-inch television was first unveiled at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung also introduced a 55-inch OLED at CES last year, but LG is now the first to bring it to market.

The 55-inch set is the world’s largest OLED TV panel. Most smaller-sized OLED displays use something known as Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS). LG said this new, 55-inch model uses a technology known as Oxide TFT, which replaces Amorphous Silicon with Oxide, which is cheaper.

“Not since color TV was first introduced 60 years ago has there been a more transformational moment,” LG’s Home Entertainment Company CEO, Havis Kwon, said in a statement. He boasted that LG’s razor-thin OLED TV will leave consumers speechless, “a clear indicator as any that OLED TV is much more than just an incremental improvement to current television technology.”

The new TV weighs in at less than 22 pounds and 0.16 inches thin. LG is incorporating White OLED (WOLED), which emits white color light from the diode, allowing a lower error rate, higher productivity, and a clearer Ultra Definition screen, according to LG.

The company’s excitement for its new OLED TV may not be enough to take to the bank, though. The technology was meant to hit the market before the summer Olympics, but mass production challenges and high projected retail prices slowed the process. By September’s IFA trade show, the TV sets were still in the demo phase.

A November NPD DisplaySearch report tipped an uneventful 2012 for the OLED market. The firm expected only 500 sets to be shipped before the end of the year — small in comparison to the total TV market.

Samsung, meanwhile, sued LG last year over a number of patents relating to its OLED technology.

By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag


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