Originally Posted by pdoherty972
Not sure what a "Maybach" is, but it only costs 2-3 times what a Camry costs? Because that's where OLED will be selling (LCDs 1500-5000 and OLEDs 5000-15000), right?
Not sure how the cost ratio applies. Actually, I'm sure the cost ratio doesn't apply! A Maybach is about 10x the cost of a Camry more or less, but it doesn't matter. Because the ratio is irrelevant. There are some tiny number of people that want snob-appeal autos (and by the way, I'm not judging them negatively, more power to them). There are some tiny number of people that want snob-appeal TVs. The difference is, production economics support the former, not the latter.
If that argument was anywhere near valid don't you think it would have stopped all the various HDTV display types we've seen (DLP, plasma, LCD, etc)? Because, according to that logic none of those displays were "enough better" that anyone would pay a premium for, so how did they ever get past the loop you describe above? But in fact they DID get past it and did the same way OLED will; by being better enough that some people will be willing to pay the premium to have it and eventually drive the costs down.
Again, I've explained this probably 1000 times. When there was no flat panel, flat panels were pretty much the most compelling thing ever. When you had a 31" CRT, a large screen was pretty much the most compelling thing ever. When people had SD, HD was pretty much the most compelling thing ever. Guess what? Everyone who wants a flat panel has one. Everyone who wants HD has it. Everyone who wants a large screen has one.
The economics necessary to support a new entrant don't exist anymore. You can't sell $10,000 plasmas anymore. You can't sell $10,000 DLP RPTVs. You can't sell a 40-inch LCD for $8000 (yep, it launched for about that much in 2002). When everything came before, there was an awful lot of greenfield out there to build on. There just isn't anymore
To build a new market now, you have to quite literally obliterate an existing market. TV sales are not meaningfully growing at all. In fact, TV sales in the upper end are probably going to shrink for most of the 2010s (emerging market sales will grow, but it's unlikely that first-world sales will even remain level in terms of total units sold as the decade progresses).
You, like many here, fundamentally underestimate how difficult it's going to be to maintain the existing market for televisions, let alone introduce an entirely new technology, bring it to scale, drive it down the cost curve, and turn a profit doing so. All this while the first world sits in the longest economic downturn since the 1930s and the performance of existing television technology is so freaking good that professional experts selected a sub $2000 59" Samsung plasma as the best choice on the market in a recent "shootout" of the year's top TVs.
Somehow you think that flexible OLEDs with some hypothetical applications relate to whether or not we'll have OLED TVs. They don't
. And all due respect, nonsense like "Samsung skin" has been hyped and touted for a decade. None of it has come to market or even been announced as a product. Roll-to-roll OLED manufacturing, ink-jet printing, flexible substrates, etc. They all date to a time when the Twin Towers cast a shadow over Lower Manhattan. None exist.
There are lots and lots of technologies like this: Things that could be but are not. Holographic storage comes to mind. It's been "just around the corner" since when I plugged in my first hard drive. No viable holographic storage technology has ever come to market and it's unlikely any ever will.
Mankind imagines a lot of things. Mankind produces a few of them. Every generation some of those stick for a combination of reasons. Generally they are not the very best technologies on the market, but for whatever the combination of reasons, they are the ones that stick. The gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (about 30% efficient). The tungsten-filament incandescent light bulb (about 90% of the power goes to heat). VHS (LOL). MP3 (LOLOL). TFT-LCD (mediocre viewing angles, etc. etc.)
If someone can solve the problem of producing a 55" OLED for $3000 when a high-end 55" LCD is still $2500, then great, there exists a chance. If the high-end LCD is $1500, however, the high-end OLED will probably have to be closer to $2000. If the premium is much more than $500, the volumes will never happen. If the volumes never happen, then the experiment is a footnote and that's it. Period.