To think: 2009 was supposed to be the Year Of The OLED TV. It's been a wash, but now that even Sony might not deliver new products next year, it looks like 2010 could be just as lame. What happened?
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From March, here:
[M]anufacturers are being faced with two equally unattractive (read: expensive) options for building TV-sized OLED TVs, like the one Samsung showed off last year: either devise an entirely new manufacturing process, which would require the invention of new techniques and machines for fabrication, or pursue a different type of OLED panel. Both options would circumvent the current size restrictions, but both options are extremely expensive.
The investments necessary to manufacters a legitimately "next-gen," i.e. either reasonably priced or reasonably sized, OLED, are extremely high, and difficult to muster capital for in this economy. This alone could've explained Sony's delay, but then we have this, today, from the WSJ:
Sony will delay the launch of its next organic light emitting diode, or OLED, television because mass producing the new displays would exacerbate losses at its TV division, according to people familiar with the matter.
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It's not just that developing the fabrication processes to build larger OLED TVs is too expensive—it's that so far, and probably for some time into the future, OLED TVs are and will be money-losing prestige products. And right now, Sony can't afford prestige products.
The WSJ points to Samsung and LG as the companies to fill the OLED void, but neither company has been overly enthusiastic about the technology, at least on a TV scale, for the last few months. Idealistic vision of the future, circa 2007? Deeeeee—layed. [WSJ]