Panasonic: Cheap OLED TVs not coming any time soon

By on June 28, 2012, 4:30 PM

Earlier this week, Sony and Panasonic touted their new-found partnership -- a joint effort which would focus on mass producing low-cost, high-resolution OLED panels. Today, Panasonic's president Kazuhiro Tsuga clarified the announcement, explaining to journalists that Panasonic does not expect its next generation of OLED televisions to match prices of LCDs for a "considerable time". 

The take home message? Don't expect to hang up a brand new $300 OLED TV on your wall by the end of 2013.

The strategic Sony-Panasonic partnership is the result of pressure being applied by Korean-based electronics manufacturers, LG and Samsung. This year, both companies unveiled their own large-screen OLED televisions. Working together, Sony and Panasonic hope to minimize the effects of their head start.

Interestingly, Sony pioneered OLED technology. The company actually sold OLED televisions during 2007 and 2008, but halted production after both consumers and industry were spooked by financial uncertainty. Sony's 1080p, 27-inch OLED units sold for around $2000. 

According to Reuters though, Sony still makes OLED televisions for high-end customers. However, I believe Reuters was referring to Sony's line of professional monitors. A 25-inch model from this line-up costs exactly $26,000 a pop. Certainly, this pricing will have to improve for Sony's OLED offerings to fall into the hands of consumers.

OLED screens produce bright, vivid colors without sacrificing deep blacks -- a rather magical combination which has proved challenging for back-lit LCDs. Such panels can also be made impressively thin and even flexible.

Despite all the great things to say about OLED though, TVs endowed with the technology will come at an enormous premium -- Both 55-inch OLED offerings from LG and Samsung are expected to weigh in at a whopping $9,000. That's roughly four times the price of most comparable LCD-based products.




User Comments: 5

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Actually this is not a bad business plan. Its no longer the 1980s when you can only sell this sort of thing to rich Americans. When you look at the whole world as a marketplace, there are plenty of people who would pay 9K for a TV like this, if only as a status symbol.

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but if you can afford 3K for a TV, you can afford 9K.

Guest said:

What! if we go by your logic. if you can afford a $20,000 car you can afford a $60,000 car. $9,000 is a lot of money for just a tv and a small one at that, when you can get a 70" led for $3,000 that looks almost as good as the OLED. Wy would anyone other then people with more money than they know what to do with buy one. I make $9,000-$12,000 (drywalling) a month and would not wast my money on something that costs way more and dose the same thing.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What! if we go by your logic. if you can afford a $20,000 car you can afford a $60,000 car. $9,000 is a lot of money for just a tv and a small one at that, when you can get a 70" led for $3,000 that looks almost as good as the OLED. Wy would anyone other then people with more money than they know what to do with buy one. I make $9,000-$12,000 (drywalling) a month and would not wast my money on something that costs way more and dose the same thing.

How is that going by my logic? My example has a $6,000 difference, yours $40,000. Do the math...

YOU are clearly not the target audience. People who buy $2000 purses and $500 sunglasses are.

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1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

yeah, guest... rich people make $3000 a DAY. Infact, $2700 a day is about exactly $1 mill /year. You're thinking of it like it's a crazy high price for a TV, and it is. But for atheletes, celebrities and many others, $10,000 isn't very much money, no matter what you spend it on.

Your average pro athelete doesn't want a TV that just looks good, they want one that no one else has. They'll sell a few.

Guest said:

WTF are you all on. most people with jobs can afford a $3,000 tv. But not to many can afford a $9,000 tv.

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