Originally Posted by rogo
How many working Kuros do you folks think are in use across the entire U.S.? They were selling pretty much none of them then they slashed prices, sold some, then announced they were going out of the plasma business.... And that was years ago.
I am having trouble believing there were ever 100,000 in use in the U.S. Even if I'm wrong, I'm struggling to believe there are still 100,000 in use in the U.S.
This is noise. It has no effect whatsoever on LG's marketing or the success of OLED.
(Of course, if you own a Kuro, you are a target customer. You should decide for yourself whether to buy this year, next year, 2 years from now, when your Kuro dies, never... That's a perfectly legitimate thing to consider. )
This is helpful to keep things in perspective. If we assume selling an OLED to every single one of the 100,000 US-based AV enthusiast who owns or has ever owned a Kuro is a minimum objective over the next 15 months if LG OLED is going to continue on the path to success, then even an the initial 8000 Gen8-sheet-per-month capacity at M2, that amounts to less than three months of output.
It's the fab underutilization that has killed niche technologies like plasma in the past, it's the fab utilization at volumes of 200,000,000 TVs per year that has allowed LED/LCD to dominate as completely as it has, and it is the fab utilization over the next 15 months that will make or break LGs WOLED initiative.
Maybe they are starting with only a partial ramp-up in M2 to 40,000 OLEDs per month, but they will need to price at the level to move that number of OLEDs quickly.
500,000 TVs per year is only 0.25% of the overall TV market, so it sounds like that should not be a big deal. If we assume that 10% of the TV market is 'premium' TV, then 500,000 TVs is 2.5%, which also sounds like it should not be that big of a deal. And if we assume that 10% of that 10% premium market is large-screen flasgship TVs, then we are talking about 500,000 TV amounting to 25% of that ultra-high-end segment - now that starts to sound like more of a big deal but the reality is that that is the kind of penetration LG needs to be aiming for.
LG has stated an objective to get below 1.5X of premium LED/LCD pricing, so safe to assume that is coming, but I'm not confident that will be enough to get them there.
At 55", you can find top-tier TVs costing $2000, but they are pretty much all 4K. At 1080p, hard to get much above $1500. A 4K OLED for $3000 might have a chance but at 1080P, the price ought to be closer to $2250 (which I believe it will be soon enough - the Macmall price was not fluke).
At 65", except for 'head-in-the-sand' Sony (and possibly also Panasonic), 4K Flagships cost $3000 now, so the 65EC9700 at $7000 or even $6500 or even $6000 is basically a 2X the LED/LCD equivalent and ought to be priced closer to $4500.
77" is such a wildcard it is not worth saying much more about right now. Volumes will be low in any case (as you point out) so more aggressive pricing is not going to move the needle for LG in any case. Maybe they keep a high price to maintain status and cachet for the few customers willing to shell out for such a status symbol. The other TVs in that class today sell for $5000-6500, which mean that if/when LG decides to win all/most customers for those class of premium TVs, they will be pricing in the range of $7500-9750.
And that's all for the 1.5X premium target, which LG knows they need to reach and which they hopefully achieve sooner rather than later. As I said, I'm not sure 1.5X will be enough to get them where they need to go. The poll I ran here on AVS indicated an average premium of 1.35X, but more importantly, even at a premium of 1.1X, only about 80% of respondents voted that they would purchase OLED.
A 1.35X premium would translate to $2000 for 55EC9300, $4000 for 65EC9700, and $8000 for 77EG9700 and I predict that that is more indicative of where LG WOLED pricing will be by mid-2015.
Another perspective on the same question, Rogo - since you were one of the few Forum Members who has seen the 65" Vizio Reference Series at CES this January, if the 65" R and the 55" 55EC9300 were priced at exactly the same price, which would you choose?