Sat, May 12, 2012 - Page 11 News List

LG plans US$9,000 OLED TV sales in US: insiders

Bloomberg

LG Electronics Inc, the world’s No. 2 television maker, plans to sell 55-inch sets using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology for more than US$9,000 in the US, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The price is higher than that predicted by analysts for IHS Inc’s iSuppli and NPD Group’s DisplaySearch, who expected the sets to sell for about US$8,000 when they enter the market later this year.

LG cannot charge any less for the OLED TVs because production costs are too high, one of the people said. Both declined to be identified because the price is not yet public.

LG and its bigger competitor Samsung Electronics Co are trying to rebound from stagnating LCD TV sales by adopting OLED technology. The OLED sets shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year were as thin as 4 millimeters and produced sharper images than LCD models.

LG has not yet decided on how much the TV sets will sell for, Im Seung-kyoo, a spokesman for the Seoul-based company, said during a telephone interview yesterday.

Samsung, which also plans to start selling 55-inch OLED sets this year, said on Thursday its models of the TVs will cost at least double the 5.4 million won (US$4,700) that the most expensive similar-sized flat-screen TVs sell for in South Korea.

Shipments of OLED TVs may total about 50,000 units this year and could reach 5 million by 2015, according to Paul Semenza, senior vice president of analyst services at California-based DisplaySearch.

LG’s share price has dropped 3.8 percent in Seoul trading this year, compared with a a 23 percent climb for rival Samsung.

OLED TVs can be thinner than Apple Inc’s iPad because they use organically glowing materials to display images without separate backlights required in LCD models.

LG Display Co, a flat-screen making affiliate of LG Electronics, can produce 48,000 OLED TV panels a month, chief financial officer James Jeong said last month.

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