ETNews: LGD agreed to supply 100,000 OLED TV panels to Sony each year

In December 2016 we posted that Forbes speculates that Sony may announce an OLED TV lineup at CES 2017 - and this was confirmed by LG Display and the OLED Association a few days later.

Sony 56-inch OLED TV Prototype, 2014Sony 56-inch OLED TV Prototype, 2014

Korean news site ETNews now updates that the supply contract between LGD and Sony was officially signed. LGD will begin to supply OLED TV panels to Sony in Q2 2017, and has agreed to supply Sony with about 100,000 TVs each year.

This is a relatively small volume, but LGD could not agree to supply more panels to Sony as its production capacity is limited. A few months ago LGD said its monthly production capacity is currently around 100,000 panels (it depends on the ratio of 55-inch and 65-inch panels) - and it expects to increase that rate to be able to make around 2 million panels in 2017. In 2018 LGD aims to be produce 2.5 million panels.

Sony is producing its own large-size AMOLED panels, but only for its professional monitor range. For its consumer TVs, it will use LGD panels. OLEDNet reports on a lecture by an LG Economic Research Institute researcher that confirms Sony's entry into the OLED TV market.

Sony actually had a consumer OLED TV program, and used to collaborate with Panasonic on that, but that JV was cancelled in 2013. Since then Sony's TV unit produced and demonstrated several high-end LCDs using innovative technology in an effort to match LG's OLED TV performance. It may be that Sony will focus on LCDs for its higher-end range, but this is likely to change in the future as OLEDs do provide a superior image quality.

Sony currently offers several professional monitors in several sizes (from 7.4" to 30") and in several series. Sony's OLED monitors provide a superior image quality compared to LCDs, and the cost difference is not so large because in these premium products the cost of the panel itself is a small portion of the total product cost. Sony already sold over 15,000 professional OLED monitors, and their latest monitor is the 30" 4K BVM-X300.

LGD's involvement with Sony was reported back in 2013, but was never confirmed - although the company did admit it is in talks with "Japanese TV makers" in 2015. Fellow Japanese TV maker Panasonic released its first OLED TV, the 65" curved 4K TX-65CZ950, in 2015, and in September 2106 the company revealed a 2nd-generation "reference" OLED TV prototype.

Posted: Jan 03,2017 by Ron Mertens