In an attempt to beat their rivals, LG Electronics has begun taking orders for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions, though African consumers will have to wait.
LG Electronics, the world’s second largest TV manufacturer said this month they will begin accepting pre-orders for its 55-inch, 55EM9700 model OLED TVs. Deliveries of the next-generation TVs will commence next month.
However, the pre-ordering and deliveries are only available from 1,400 South Korean LG retail stores for US$10,300 starting today (January 3). Europe, the United States of America and other Asian markets can expect the product’s launch in the first quarter of this year.
At present there is no word on when LG Electronics plans to launch the OLED TV’s to the African markets. The wait may not be too long as LG Electronics plans to “ramp up quickly to take the lead in the OLED segment” because the OLED sales are expected to grow to 7.2 million by 2016.
LG Electronics’ pre-order announcement was made shortly before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Last year an early version of the cutting-edge TV was awarded “Best of Show” at the CES.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to make this announcement at the start of the new year because we believe that OLED will usher in a whole new era of home entertainment. Not since colour TV was first introduced 60 years ago has there been a more transformational moment,” said Havis Kwon, LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO.
OLED technology is described as more energy-efficient, but the price is expected to be five times that of liquid-crystal display (LCD) TVs. The 4 millimeter thickness is considered very thin and could lead the way for future mobile devices being foldable like paper.
OLED TV manufacturers such as LG and Samsung still have to meet manufacturing challenges in order to lower costs and compete with LCD TVs. OLED displays are already utilised in the Samsung Galaxy S and Note smartphones.