Originally Posted by David_B
What does rogo know about the plants Panasonic, Samsung and LG have?
If you've read the threads, you can find lots of links showing all 3 of them making major investment in OLED lines of manufacture for TV sized panels.
No, you can't.
Samsung is trialing 8G and has 5.5G. They haven't yet committed to a full-scale 8G plant. You'll know if they do because (a) they'll actually announce it (b) spec, slacker and others who are interested in this for investment reasons will be all over it.
LG hasn't announced any major investment. We have some combination of the Apple rumor, talk of "converting" an existing line (which makes no sense with OLED isn't LCD, and LG doesn't currently even make IGZO backplanes).
Panasonic is playing with a 6G trial line (if memory serves).
So, yeah, rogo clearly knows nothing.
It's not like Samsung, Sony, LG, and others aren't using OLED in lots of devices already.
Well, Samsung is certainly in the Galaxy phone line. Sony? The stillborn PS Vita, the not-really-related head-mounted display, and the tiny production broadcast sets. Anything I missed there? Nothing substantial. Kinda like LG, which is using OLED for nothing substantial
at the moment.
PS, this is exactly how LCD TVs came to be. Do you suppose they just suddenly made 90 inch LCD tvs? No, it was 3 inch LCDs then 4 inch then 5 inch then 6 inch then 7 inch etc etc etc.
Actually, it wasn't. LCDs sprung out of the laptop/desktop monitor market. It is certainly true that incremental size increases were the norm in LCD as motherglass went from 3G to 4G.... all the way 10G. Ironically, this in no way parallels OLED, where the major producers are trying to leapfrog all the way to 8G and to 55" diagonal sets.
Samsung already could make a 55inch TV in the current manufacturing line they already have. The question isn't CAN the make it, the question is how fast can they improve and lower manufacturing costs.
This shows how much you don't know. Samsung can, in fact, technically manufacture 55" TVs on the existing 5.5G line. Whether they can make them at any reasonable profit/price/yield, however, is something you have no idea about. It's fairly likely that they'd never, ever be able to improve yields and costs sufficiently on the 5.5G production to make a profit on 55" TVs at any interesting market prices.
The 8G work has a fundamental technical problem involving the production method they've used to date. The masks they use tend to "sag" onto the substrate causing horrible yields as unusable panels come rolling off the line. Now, Samsung is confident that they have solutions to thin, including replacing FMM (fine metal mask) with SMS (small mask scanning). This has never been tested at production volumes
. They need to tell the world they are confident this is going to work and allow them to mass produce OLED TVs, but they don't actually know that it will
. If they were 100% sure, they wouldn't have made recent comments indicating that approaches like LG's were still under consideration for volume prouction.
You can interpret this however you want, I really don't care, but the fact remains: It is not actually a given that anyone can mass produce 55" OLED TVs at affordable prices. It is likely that all of these production problems will be solved in time, but it's not 100% certain. This isn't mature technology where we can know the problems will be "fixable".
There were times where larger LCD television production was also in this boat. It took innovations in production that were not givens to make such production viable. They did occur and we all have benefited. History's likelihood of repeating itself should not be confused with history's certainty of repeating itself.
Sony sold the PS3 for multiple years at a loss. Most new companies lose money for multiple years before they turn a profit.
Not related at all. Game player makers expect to make money on software. Breaking even on hardware is only the eventual
goal. TVs are a one-shot purchase. There are no economics by which you sell those at a loss. Ask Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Pioneer, LG and others. Hell, ask Samsung -- even their TV business is not really making much profit.
There's zero chance OLED isn't coming to a TV near you. TV sales growth is flat. 3D hasn't pushed sales like they wanted. Every manufacturer is looking for something to spure sales. LG and Samsung think OLED can do it.
There is a huge chance OLED isn't coming to a TV near you anytime soon. It appears we are going to another year where even if OLED ships -- and that's a big if based on the CES news -- we are looking at something under 0.1% of the market. I suspect TV sales growth will be turning negative soon.
The problem for LG and Samsung is that if they believe that $8000 TVs are going to spur growth, they need to check into the nearest rehab center.
OLED TVs will be larger and less expensive then the first Plasma TVs. You know plasma TVs? Those TV sets nobody said would make it because they where to expensive?
We've discussed this dozens of times. When there was no flat panel TV on the market, you could charge a king's ransom for them. When people were buying their first HDTV's, you could charge a king's ransom for them. Hell, when it was still 2000 and the full effect of the dot-com/telecom bust wasn't yet understood, you could charge a lot more for things too.
The first Pioneer 50" was $25,000. A few years later the best 50" was a Fujitsu that was about $10,000. They went out of business trying to sell those. A few years after that, Pioneer went out of business trying to sell state-of-the-art 50" TVs for just half that. There is no $5000 TV market anymore
. It's gone. You know, a really good laptop was over $5000 10 years ago too. If Dell or HP -- or even Apple -- tried to sell anything at that price these days (yes, yes, you can spec one like that.. and 1 in 10,000 of people do), you'd be laughed at.
I'm on record here that by the time you can buy these, the gap between the OLEDs and the best LCDs (or PDPs) is going to be small. Most people will honestly find the picture quality difference subtle. And, apparently, the thinness, bezel-free-ness, etc. will also be subtle.
The chicken-and-egg problem here is the same as it was: You can't sell them cheaply enough up to ramp production. Without ramping production, you can't drive your costs down. Without driving costs down, you can't sell them cheaply enough. And so it goes.
How do you solve this? It's just downright adorable the suggestion that "they go lose money for a few years and make it up later". The only display manufacturer that could actually afford to do that without going bankrupt is Samsung and they'd have to use mobile phone profits -- not display profits -- to subsidize their display business to pull it off. Not going to happen.
Instead, what's much more likely is a slow ramp of OLED production, a slow lowering of prices, a slow ramp, a slow lowering of prices, over and over until pricing eventually gets down near enough to parity that the industry can collectively decide whether to ultimately really make the investments required to replace the half a billion monitors and TVs currently being made annually that use LCDs
with a majority of OLEDs. We are quite a ways from that.