LG Elec starts taking orders for next-generation TVs

Wed Jan 2, 2013 1:24am EST
 

SEOUL (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc started taking orders on Wednesday for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions, hoping to outdo rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in the next-generation technology that could change the face of electronics displays.

LG Electronics and Samsung showcased 55-inch OLED TVs a year ago and they are expected to be priced up to five times higher than liquid-crystal display (LCD) equivalents when they reach store shelves next month.

Considered the future of consumer electronics displays, the OLED technology is more energy-efficient and offers higher contrast images than LCD, and is so thin that future mobile devices will be foldable like paper.

LG Electronics, the world's No.2 TV manufacturer, said it would start delivery of the new TVs from early February, with plans to display them at 1,400 retail outlets in South Korea.

They would be launched in the United States, Europe and other Asian markets during the first quarter of 2013.

In South Korea, the 55-inch model would sell for 11 million won ($10,300) - nearly four times that of LG Electronics' LED-backlit LCD model and around five times that of more common LCD versions.

The OLED launch announcement helped propel LG Electronics shares 5.4 percent higher on Wednesday, their biggest daily percentage gain in five months.

LG Display Co Ltd, which makes the OLED panel used in LG Electronics' TVs, also rose 1.8 percent.

Global OLED TV sales are forecast to explode from 50,000 units this year to 1.7 million units in 2014, according to research firm DisplaySearch. That is still only a fraction of the roughly 250 million TVs of all kinds expected to be sold worldwide in 2013.   Continued...

 
Models pose next to LG Electronics' organic light-emitting diode (OLED) television in Seoul January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won