OLED is coming – but at a price

As a next-generation display technology, the first OLED (organic light emitting diode) screens were never going to come cheap.

For the introduction of the first OLED to the European market, Sony is said to be putting a €3,500 (US$5,000) price tag on its XEL-1 when it becomes available before Christmas.

The astronomical cost, reported by OLED-Display.net, dwarfs the US$1850 paid in Japan and even makes the US$2,100 price stateside seem reasonable.

When the XEL-1 launched in Japan it was unveiled as a kind of prototype for what could be. Sony was said to be making a loss on each set.

While the XEL-1 has received a positive reception from consumers in Japan, expansion into other markets is sure to be slower at such elevated prices.

Competition from Sony’s rival Samsung

OLED TVs, which could potentially replace LCD and plasma TVs, are predicted to sell close to 3 million units in 2012.

Samsung, which released the world’s largest OLED television at the IFA trade show in Berlin, has committed itself to
commercial production of mid to large screens by 2010.

“Samsung will begin commercial production of mid- and large-sized OLED televisions around 2010,” according to a statement from Samsung.

At IFA, Samsung displayed two OLED screens – a 14.1-inch model and a 31-inch model.

Sony had the XEL-1 and a 27-inch prototype, which was introduced at the CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.

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