Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sony to Sell OLED TV in Europe in 2009

Sony will expand sales of its 11-inch OLED (organic light emitting diode) television to Europe in 2009. According to Japan's influential Nikkei business newspaper, Sony will indeed by selling an OLED TV – most likely an updated version of the XEL-1 – in Europe some time next year. Sony didn't confirm the report but said the XEL-1 television has received a positive reception from consumers in Japan and so an expansion of sales into other markets is being considered.Should Sony decide to launch the set in Europe the announcement could come as soon as the IFA trade show, which begins on Aug. 29 in Berlin and is Europe's largest consumer electronics show.

Sony's XEL-1 has won broad praise for its thinness and bright, vivid images. But at around ¥200,000 (US$1,829) in Japan and around US$2,500 in the U.S. the TV set remains too pricey for most consumers. For Sony to significantly expand sales it will need to increase production from the current 2,000 sets it manufactures per month but technical hurdles remain as OLED is a new technology and production processes are still being refined. The company is planning to invest over $200 million in the mass production of larger OEL screens by the end of this fiscal year. Sony is not alone: Matsushita (Panasonic) is expected to build prototype 40-inch OLED displays in early 2009, with plans of offering them to Japanese customers in 2011. Samsung plans to roll out 14-inch OLED TVs in 2010.

1 comment:

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