And as for my selection amnesia, here's a post of mine from 2002:
I want to note that industry experts can be wrong at times, but are rarely so grossly wrong in their forecasts of reasonably continuous technology development and adoption. With that caveat, I wish to have this post serve as a "reference post" for anyone who comes anywhere near here explaining they are buying an OLED display anytime soon.
According to Display Search, nearly half a million plasmas were shipped last year and by 2005, PDP module revenues are expected to rise to $4.4 billion. Capacity to make plasma panels is more than a million panels per year in existing industry capacity.
According to Stanford Resources, the market for OLED displays will be $112 million for this year and $736 million by 2005. The firm predicts LCD displays will generate $27.7 billion in revenue this year and $43.3 billion by 2005.
OLED displays already existing, in the 1-3 inch diagonal size range. Although Stanford doesn't say, it is reasonable to conclude that 99% of the $ value of OLED displays shipped in 2005 will be <15". The reason I say this is because the only existing manufacturing for OLEDs (in 2002) is for panels <4". OLED manufacturers are currently targeting the cell phone market and eventually the laptop market.
If you wish to argue that somehow, 10% of the OLED market in 2005 is going to be in large screen displays, you are entitled to that opinion (which I believe is dead wrong). That gives you $75 million in large screen displays. Plasma, at $4.4 billion, will represent a market 60x larger.
The $75 million divided across an OEM price of $2500 (which is impossibly low, but I'm in a generous mood) means there will be 30,000 OLED large screens shipped in 2005, or 1/15 as many plasmas as shipped last year.
It is hard to fathom how a technology could be less relevant to your home-theater purchasing decisions that OLED. I actually believe that no manufacturer will even try to build a plant for 40" OLEDs until 2006 or later and that 42" plasma displays will retail for about $1500-1800 in 2005, ensuring that OLED doesn't make any mark in home theaters until the next decade. In other words, I believe there will be fewer than 30K OLED large screens shipped through 2010 (no new display technology other than plasma has actually reached commercial critical mass since the advent of the TFT-LCD). But if you wish to be optimisitic about OLED breaking every known law of manufacturing, you can still ignore it in your purchasing decisions.
I close with this quote from Paul Semenza of Stanford Resources: ""It's ludicrous to think that (OLED) will take over LCD in the short term."
Or another one from 2004:
From Kimberly Allen, director of technology and strategic research at iSuppli/Stanford Resources: "By the time OLED TVs of any large size reach the market in five years, LCDs and PDPs will be even more advanced," she said, as will digital light projectors and other projection systems. "OLED will be a competitor, and maybe a strong one, but it is not going to take over the market in the TV space."
I have been -- for a while -- suggesting that OLED won't matter in the TV market until decade's end. It's because of information like that above, which is current info. It comes from a report on Philips' nifty work in polymer OLEDs, the emerging variant of OLED that currently is far behind the more common small-molecule OLED. Polymer OLED is the one that >>might<< be cheaper, >>might<< be able to be "printed", >>might<< allow flexible, roll-up displays.
It's super cool stuff, it's just not going to effect your and my purchasing decisions between now and the Beijing Olympics.
I love the part in that one about the Beijing Olympics... So ironic.
Another post from 2004:
I'm including an article that appeared on pcworld.com -- in part -- with some comments....
What Does the Future Hold for Flat TVs?
Seiko Epson will commercialize OLED TVs by 2007, the company says.
Paul Kallender, IDG News Service
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Seiko Epson is on schedule to commercialize OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen technology for televisions in 2007 but some significant research issues remain, a company executive says.
Oh, yes, they are indeed significant.
OLED screens produce pictures that proponents say are extremely bright and crisp compared to those shown on PDP (plasma display panels) and LCDs, the main technologies that are used for today's large flat-panel TVs. Another advantage is that OLEDs should be cheaper.
In some theoretical world that doesn't appear to exist -- even come 2007.
However, at present OLED panels don't last long. The company's tests show that its panels last about 2000 hours when switched-on, according to Shoichi Iino, a general administrative manager at the company. Epson's engineers are trying to develop longer lasting versions, he says.
Epson hopes the 200 engineers it has assigned to the project will succeed in lengthening lifetime to make panels that work for 10,000-hours, according to Iino. That should be long enough to make them commercially acceptable, he says. Earlier this year, the company set a goal of launching a TV using a 40-inch OLED panel in 2007.
Acceptable to whom? To the kind of people who worried about 30,000-hour plasmas and will have had years to get accustomed to 60,000-hour plasmas and LCDs -- or even longer-lasting ones as LED backlights should give LCDs 100,000-hour life by then and it wouldn't surprise to see plasma get up there too.
The initial goal is to double the current OLED screen lifetime to 4000 hours by mid-2005 and reach the 10,000 hour mark by 2007, Iino says.
But development doesn't stop there. Later in 2007, the company aims to boost the lifetime to provide about four hours per day of viewing for 360 days a year over 10 years, or about enough for nearly 15,000 hours of viewing. The company plans to double this lifetime again by around 2010.
So by 2010, they'll have a TV that's good for about 10 years of life in a U.S. home. I'd call that a minimum point of an entry for a new technology now. By 2010, it might not be good enough. As for 2007, there is simply going to be zero market for TVs that have such a short lifespan. The LCD and plasma guys will see to that.
Epson estimates that OLED TVs will cost a bit less than PDP or LCD TVs of the same screen size in 2007. The reason is that OLED panels will be simpler to make than LCDs or PDPs, according to Iino. Unlike LCDs, OLED panels do not need backlights and filters, he says.
Cost to whom? Not to end users. They'll be needed a new TV by around 2010, so any "savings" will be short-lived.
I had gone out and put the Introduction of Important OLEDs at around 2008. It appears that was optimistic if Epson's effort represents the state of the art. It doesn't appear that OLED will be particularly competitive even come 2010, although I'd guess its inroads could occur sometime around then.
Keep in mind the landscape that is forming for OLED to compete with:
* At least three technologies, PDP, TFT-LCD and SED... Quite possibly FED/NED displays from Samsung and/or Sony and/or others.
* Display lifetimes that might be 10x what OLED offers assuming a 2007 intro date.
* Price competition that will make it harder than ever for any new technology to be introduced at anything near an appealing level. It's already going to be challenging for SED to square off against PDP and TFT-LCD. Imagine how much harder the challenge will get. Consider these scenarios that aren't even particularly aggressive...
42-inch ED plasma, major brand
...Today --> $3000 at retail
...2007 --> $1500 at retail
...2010 --> $800 at retail
45/46-inch LCD, major brand and 50-inch plasma
...Today --> $8000 at retail
...2007 --> $3500 at retail
...2010 --> $2000 at retail
The price for both technologies will ultimately reach some kind of bottom before OLED has an opportunity to gain much traction. But the bottom is as likely to be dictated by fundamental fixed costs like distribution, retail markup, profit margin as it is by cost. OLED will have all those too.
Because disposable TVs are unlikely to gain market acceptance for any number of reason (e.g. pain in the neck, environmental concerns, et al.), I am struggling to imagine what OLED is going to offer to take on the "big two". Keep in mind that both will almost certainly offer 1920 x 1080 and 10,000:1 contrast.
Technologically, I love OLED, but marginal improvements in thinness are not going to cut it. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in time. But it's at least another quadrennium before we'll get to care.
So do me a favor when you decide to bash me -- by name -- for absolutely no reason. Take about 2-3 seconds to consider I've been following this technology for more than 10 years
. It's been promised to us as being right around the corner since at least 2002
. In the entire ensuing decade, we've gotten an 11" Sony that was $2500 and was on the market a few months and a 15" LG that no one ever proved was on sale in the U.S. (although it was sold in Europe where it was so unpopular it was on closeout sites for a long, long while after production ceased).
That's the history of OLED television in the flat-panel era.
Incidentally, in 2004, I was laughably pessimistic about the pricing for big LCDs and plasmas. You can buy a 60" in either technology for the $2000 I hoped would get you a 45-50". What I didn't find in this search I just performed -- I'm not sure why, but someone who could help and PM me the right post links (please PM them rather than post them), is the post where I'm pretty sure I say, "you are not going to see these jumbo OLEDs in 2012 or 2013." It should be there somewhere from 2010, but AVS doesn't return it on a search of "rogo" and "OLED" or the problem is it doesn't return individual posts to me, I have no real idea. Maybe it's only returning my threads, not my posts? Is that a limitation of the new forum software? If so, that blows....
. I suspect those posts were borne largely out of a decade of frustration with broken OLED promises (and broken SED promises and broken LCD promises of larger sizes to be honest). But they exist, and I'd love to review them in context
to add some updates and color to them.
Finally, this post comes from April, but it's specifically in reference to Samsung:
According to the article, they will be "disclosing features, specs, and prices" at the IFA show in August/September, which is exactly what was said a week or so ago. Given that product pretty much never actually ships coincident with "disclosure of features, specs and prices" at trade shows, there still seems to be no possible way anything is available ahead of Q4 and a reasonable possibility nothing is available at all from them in 2012. Or at least not many units.
I was "informed" immediately after that post, it was most certainly wrong. And I acknowledged that if it was, that would put me down to 95% accuracy. Well, here's what we know: (1) Samsung hasn't shipped yet (2) Samsung will have less than 4 weeks to ship after IFA to make it into Q3. If they fail to ship in Q3, the above post is correct. Not a little correct, correct. I don't say they "won't ship in Q4", I say, in April, they might not ship in Q4. Now, if they don't ship in Q4, either, the above post looks even better because it's not just "correct" it's "prescient". But there's no ESP at work here. There's months before we cross that bridge, of course, but only weeks before something I was told was certainly wrong might well move into the "correct" column.