Panasonic, CMEL Anticipate Volume Production of Large AMOLED-TVs in 2010 – 201126 June 2008
At $227 per diagonal inch (in the U.S.), Sony’s XEL-1 11-inch AMOLED TV set is a combination of technological stake in the sand, early adopter’s toy, and public relations coup. And, with a lifetime that is, according to tests supervised by Barry Young at DisplaySearch, much shorter than that claimed by Sony, the XEL-1 can also be viewed as a premature delivery.
Since the XEL-1 is clearly a triumph of public relations over sound product development, I’m only inclined to give it one-and-a-half cheers. But it does look beautiful, and the enthusiastic response people have to its screen images clearly show that AMOLED-TV will be a product category to threaten both LCDs and PDPs — but only when the technology matures a bit, screen sizes grow, and prices fall.
So when will that be? At least since last October’s FPD International in Yokohama, LG Display and CMEL have had 32-inch AMOLED-TVs on their roadmaps for late 2009 or early 2010. CMEL has been showing a 25-inch prototype and Samsung has been showing a handsome 31-inch FHD prototype, although nobody, understandably, was talking about price or volume.
The media’s recent focus on Matsushita has been on its taking over Pioneer’s plasma panel research, development, and manufacturing activities and on its assuming control of IPS Alpha, the LCD-panel manufacturer jointly owned by Matsushita, Hitachi, and Toshiba. But if you looked at the corporate fine print, you could see references to Matsushita intending to do OLED development at one of IPS Alpha’s facilities.
Still, it came as a surprise yesterday when Japan’s Sankei newspaper reported Matsushita has finalized plans to mass-produce 37-inch AMOLED-TVs within 3 years. Matsushita spokesperson Akira Kadota said his company plans to sell the 37-incher for the equivalent of $1,390.
Now, $1,390 is certainly not cheap for a 37-inch TV. Today, you can buy a Sharp LC-37D64U FHD LCD-TV for $1099 on-line from J and R, or a Sony KDL-37L4000 HD LCD-TV for $889, and equivalent sets will surely be cheaper in 2011. But it’s also not crazy to expect early adopters and demanding videophiles to buy this kind of set in significant quantities at such a price.
Also yesterday, CMEL VP Peter Chen said his company anticipates the mass production of TV-use AMOLED panels in 2010 or 2011, as reported in Digitimes. The TV panels will be made at a new third production OLED line, Chan said.
And what conclusions about CMEL’s initial volume-produced product should we draw from that 25-inch prototype we’ve seen so much of? Not much. Chen said CMEL would not mass produce that size.
So real AMOLED-TVs are coming. Not rich men’s toys, but real TVs in reasonable sizes at rational price premiums. You’ll just have to wait a couple of years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Samsung invests over $500 million to boost OLED production30 June 2008
Samsung SDI said today that it will be spending over $500 million USD to boost production of next-generation OLED displays to six times its current level by mid-2009.
This latest move comes as panel makers try to get bigger shares of the growing market for OLED displays, which offer better contrast ratio, slimmer designs and better energy efficiency than current LCD or plasma displays.
Currently, however, production costs are still high, too high to make OLED TVs available to the masses.
Samsung currently produces small-sized AM-OLED screens used in watches and other handheld devices and there was no word on whether this large new investment will be to increase production of small OLED screens or for all OLED production including TVs.
Using 2-inch screens as a basis, the new investment should raise capacity from 1.5 million units a month to over 9 million by mid-2009.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Samsung SDI to invest $529 million to up OLED output30 June 2008
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean display maker Samsung SDI Co (006400.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it would boost production of next-generation organic displays to six times the current level by mid-2009, spending $529 million.
The move comes as leading panel makers try to grab a piece of the fast-growing market for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AM-OLED) displays, which make better-quality, slimmer and more energy-efficient screens than liquid crystal displays.
But makers need to clear hurdles such as cutting production costs and maximizing screen size in order to see an adoption in a wider range of applications.
Samsung SDI, which produces small-sized AM-OLED screens used in handheld devices, said in a filing with the local exchange that it would invest 551.8 billion won ($528.6 million) until mid-2009 to expand its AM-OLED output.
When the investment is completed, its production capacity will reach 9 million units a month in 2-inch screen terms, compared with 1.5 million currently, the company said.
Other makers are also moving fast to launch OLED products and build scale. Japan's Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) last November started selling small-sized TVs using OLED technology and Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to ship small-to-medium-size OLED screens for mobile devices in the autumn.
Last week, Japan's Sankei Shimbun daily reported Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is finalizing plans to mass-produce 37-inch OLED TVs in three years.
Market researcher iSuppli said in May it expected global shipments of AM-OLED panels to nearly quadruple in 2008 to 10.2 million units, with revenue reaching $225 million.
Shares in Samsung SDI ended up 0.12 percent at 83,600 won, outperforming the wider market's 0.57 percent loss.