KOREA: LG to launch 55in OLED TV next year

LG will launch a 55in OLED TV by the second half of next year.

That's the surprise announcement from LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo (left), speaking in Korea as the company announced its second quarter results.

Kwon told reporters he saw no point in continuing to concentrate efforts on small- and medium-sized OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display technology, mainly used for tablets and other mobile devices.

This, he says, 'has more flaws than [our] current AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) LCD technology.

'We will make no more investment in the sector, judging that the OLED business is relatively less profitable than other products in the mobile sector.'

Instead of investing in OLED displays for mobile applications, the company will now put all its efforts into large screen sizes for TVs: 'LGD will launch a 55-inch OLED TV by the second half next year,' Kwon says.

And while he admits that initial numbers will be small – at least by the standards of the massive output of the company – Kwon says LG Display is determined to make this a real-world product: 'Initial production volume would be only tens of thousands of units due to limited production facilities, but we will expand them to a mass production system, observing market reactions.'

He was speaking as the company announced its results for the second quarter of this year, which saw operating losses reduced from almost KRW240bn (£140m) in the first quarter to less than KRW50bn (£28m), on sales of just over KRW6tn (£3.5bn), up 13%.

TV display panels currently account for just under half of LG Display's sales, but there's been intense pressure on prices of late, not least due to oversupply. Large-screen OLED models could give the company a useful premium product line to help restore profitability.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.