Jun 06, 2016

    LG to bring rollable TV sets to mass market


    LOUD rattling and fizzling from conveyor belts ferrying TV displays along four assembly lines hailed a group of reporters on a visit to tech giant LG Electronics' (LGE's) A3 factory in Gumi City, North Gyeongsang Province, on Friday.

    The factory serves as the bastion of LGE's initiative for its organic light-emitting diode (Oled) TV business. Every new Oled TV technology, including pieces of manufacturing equipment, is first deployed at the A3 factory among the 13 global factories for the Oled TV set.

    The factory is expected to be where foldable and rollable Oled TV sets are produced in the near future, potentially outpacing its rivals, including Samsung Electronics.

    "LGE has been doing research and development for the rollable Oled TVs. Even though it is hard to give you the timeline, the company will definitely roll out the product in the near future," said Lee Byung Chul of LGE's global production office, adding that the futuristic TV products would be out on the market when the price drops to an affordable level for general consumers.

    Thanks to the self-luminous nature of the Oled, TV sets fitted with the display material do not require a backlight panel. The absence of the backlight panel means there can be fewer layers of panels on the inside of the TV, making it easier to produce see-through and flexible TV sets compared to liquid crystal display ones.

    LGE and its sister firm, LG Display, and Samsung Electronics have competitively showcased bendable and rollable displays in recent years, but neither of the companies have commercialised the rollable TV sets so far.

    Growing 116 per cent per year on average in terms of sales from 2013 to 2020, the Oled TV segment will account for 11.4 per cent of the entire global TV market in 2020 from 1.1 per cent last year, according to market research firm IHS.