DisplaySearch: OLED TVs will see a slow market penetration, will not become profitable for LG until 2019

DisplaySearch says that the falling prices of LCD TVs make it very difficult for OLED TVs to penetrate the market. According to DisplaySearch, OLED TVs will not become profitable for LG Display before 2019.

DisplaySearch estimates that LGD currently loses $581.8 on each OLED TV sold. The OLED Business unit lost 535 billion Won ($491 million) in 2014. In 2019, they will still lose money - $159.9 on each TV sold. In 2019, OLED TVs will still be more expensive than LCDs. Quantum Dot TVs will also hurt OLED TV sales.

Finally, DisplaySearch estimates that LG Display shipped 53,000 OLED TVs in the first quarter of 2015. The company expects to sell 600,000 units in 2015 and 1.5 million units in 2016.

LG Display themselves recently commented that they do not expect OLED TVs to become profitable in the next few years. But the company remains committed to the next generation technology. I think trying to forecast until 2019 in this fast paced market is very difficult - but hopefully LG will manage to reduce the production costs of their OLED panels fast enough so they are competitive with LCDs.

Posted: May 18,2015 by Ron Mertens


Bye OLED TV, it has not been nice not meeting you.

OLED is still more advanced than even QD LCD, so I think it is far too soon to make an assumption that OLED is obsolete. Other manufacturers are working on it besides LG. This includes Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and others. No one has announced that they are stopping work on it. If any of them perfects printing OLED as the manufacturing process, expect OLED to obsolete LCD rather than the other way around.

Unfortunately this is hardly a surprise:

1. Very few people are willing to pay the currently asked premium for getting a slightly thinner display with better colors and contrast. Basically only display geeks and millionaires at this point...

2. For anyone familiar with the hype cycle: OLED (both for display and lighting) is currently going through the trough of disillusionment...I think in the future there will be more commercial success for OLED, but right now a lot of people are disappointed because neither the technology nor the market is where the enthusiasts believed it would be.



I'd say you're being a bit pessimistic and a good deal inaccurate. According to Wikipedia, the "hype cycle" isn't a cycle at all, but a poorly defined "observation" of a recent trend.
The so called Trough of Disillusionment is defined as "Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters."
If this existed at all for OLED it was several years ago as the technology is well established in mobile devices and wearables.
Interestingly, the stock chart for OLED (universal display) reveals a pattern that might fit the trend your attempting to describe as it peaked to over 60 early on, in 2011 and then settled into the 20's and low 30's for years....until this year where it's back to around 50. So...now would be the time to buy in...at the "plateau of productivity." Your comment and insight is about 4 years late.
The 3D printing industry appears to be in a trough...and I imagine some are quite disillusioned.