Sony was the first Television Manufacturer to enter the market for organic light emitting diode, or OLED, television with the release of a 11 inch screen TV model XEL-1 in 2007. This TV still comes with a $2500 price tag, currently the same price level as TVs with screens 50 inches and above. That model screen was only 3 millimeters thick. Sony has recently pushed out the launch it its successor, a 27 inch OLED TV, until 2010 due to the cost of manufacturing. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Sony has lost money in the LCD TV division since 2004.
Sony tends to push the technological edge, but struggles to turn a profit. Sony TV division lost $1.3 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Sony was also late to the market with LCD Televisions, and is lagging in market share. Display Search has reported that Sony lost market leadership in televisions to Samsung and LG in terms of revenue. OLED competitors could be LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, who could assume leadership in the promising technology, touted as the future replacement of liquid-crystal displays (LCD). LG Electronics announced that it will launch a 15-inch OLED TV in Korea and other oversea markets. OLED displays are already designed into mobile phones and smaller MP3 players. OLED displays are thinner and consume less power. They also display color better and respond better to moving images than LCDs. OLED displays do not need a backlight behind the screen, allowing it to be flexible and bendable. Research firm DisplaySearch expects the market for OLED TV to reach 2.33 million units in 2013 compared with estimated 320,000 units in 2011, according to data provided by LG. However, LCD display prices are falling dramatically even while LCD quality improves and is considered the biggest threat to OLED’s future. OLED technology background and features is also covered in the LCD TV Buyers Guide.
Sources: Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Display Search