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High manufacture cost lags AMOLED TV adoption

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share


IHS Inc. has predicted that worldwide shipments of active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) TVs will top 2.1 million units in 2015, up from just 34,000 this year. Even so, this increase will mean that AMOLED TV shipments will account for only one percent�of the flat-panel market by 2015, which can be attributed to its high manufacturing cost.

"AMOLED TV prices will remain dramatically higher than those of LCD TVs during the next few years because of manufacturing yield issues, combined with inflated material costs due to the small pool of suppliers," noted Vinita Jakhanwal, director of small/medium and OLED displays at IHS. "A 55in AMOLED TV will be priced at $8,000 in 2012, more than twice the $3,700 average expense for an equivalent LCD TV. And although AMOLEDs deliver a dramatically superior viewing experience compared to LCDs, consumers are unlikely to buy large quantities of AMOLEDs until their prices fall to within a 20 percent premium of comparable LCD TVs."

LG Display and Samsung Electronics have recently unveiled what they believe as the largest AMOLED 3D TVs. The 55in displays represent a major departure from previous AMOLEDs that mainly are focused on small/medium display applications such as smartphones at sizes smaller than 10in. The companies are expected to begin shipping their OLED TVs to the market by 3Q12.

In comparison to these AMOLED sets, a currently available 3D LCD TV with an LED backlight offers a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, with the thinnest being only 1.2in thick and weighing more than 50lbs.

The LGD and Samsung sets used different AMOLED technology. Samsung's 55in AMOLED TV panel uses a horizontal red/green/blue (RGB) pixel structure that requires a fine metal mask (FMM) for the patterning of AMOLED material. LGD's 55in AMOLED TV panel uses a vertical white-OLED (WOLED) pixel structure with a color filter. The use of WOLEDs eliminates the need for an RGB mask that makes it easier to have finer pitch pixels on the panel. However, this approach needs an additional color filter.

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