Sony ditches OLED to focus on 4K TV

Sony has reportedly decided to put research and development in to OLED displays on hold in favour of focusing on its roll-out of 4K LCD TVs.

While OLED is still seen as a next-generation technology, Sony's 20% value share of the 4K market and plans to release eight new 4K TVs this summer are seen as an opportunity for the company's previously failing TV business to get back in the black.

Sony is also said to be planning to "slash labour expenses for consumer electronics products by more than 20%" in an effort to further cut overall costs.

A report by Nikkei says, "Sony does not see real demand for OLED TVs taking off anytime soon, whereas its 4K LCD TVs are generating revenue now."

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The news hardly comes as a huge surprise, following similar announcements from other brands and the continued low yield rates of OLED panels, with anecdotal evidence suggesting as few as one in 10 OLED panels is good enough to use.

Sony and Panasonic ended their OLED partnership at the start of the year, having failed to find a way to make OLED panels affordable and in the face of low OLED TV sales.

Last year it was also reported that Samsung was rethinking its OLED TV plans in light of better than expected 4K sales.

Nikkei reports that Sony is aiming to quadruple 4K TV sales this fiscal year, with 4K models expected to make-up 40-50% of the company's TV range, compared to 10-20% in the last business year.

We've reached out to Sony for further comment but at the time of writing had yet to receive an official response.

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by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).