LG Electronics will release an '8K resolution 88-inch OLED TV' in July or August at the latest. The '8K OLED TV' will be released first, and a ‘Rollable TV’ will be put on the market by the end of this year. LG Display's 10.5-generation factory in Paju is officially confirmed to start its operation in 2021. LG Display is currently the only supplier of large OLED panels for TVs.
"The launch of the new product starts with 8K OLED TV," said Lee Jeong-Seok, managing director of LG Electronics' HE Marketing Communication at the press conference held at LG Electronics’ A3 factory in Gumi City, Gyeongbuk Province on the 14th. He added, “8K OLED TVs will be released in the early second half of the year, and Rollable TVs in the latter half of the second half of the year. We are doing the final preparation after completing the (production/quality) stabilization.”
Managing Direct Lee said, “By 2021, the 10.5G OLED production line will be operated at another factory in Paju (not the existing 8G factory), and the market share of OLED TVs will rise." The other factory in Paju is the P10 factory. This is the first time to formalize the operation schedule of 10.5-generation OLED production lines of P10 factory. The production equipment is not yet in stock.
LG Electronics' A3 factory in Gumi is referred to as a so-called 'Mother Factory'. All production processes of the latest TV products are researched and developed here and then delivered to overseas factories. LG Electronics is producing OLED TVs in nine countries including Korea, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa.
In the afternoon on the same day, one of the TV production lines at the A3 factory was assembling 55-inch OLED TVs. The remaining two lines were producing 65-inch LCD TVs. An official of LG Electronics said, "In 2013 when OLED TV production was started for the first time, there was a designated line. However, now it is possible to produce both OLED TV and LCD TV in one production line." The '8K resolution 88-inch OLED TV' to be released in 2-3 months is expected to be assembled in the current line after a slight modification to the production process.
In the first half of this year, LG Display will start operation of the 8.5G OLED factory in Guangzhou city, Guangdong province. The OLED panel production capacity is expected to increase from 4 million units to 7 million units in 2020, then to 10 million units in 2021. LG Electronics has no OLED TV assembly factory in China. The major supply target for Guangzhou 8.5G OLED factor is expected to be Chinese TV makers.
HiSense, which has the highest market share in the Chinese TV market, announced that it will launch 55-inch OLED TVs with the price level of 1 million won at its New Product Launch Presentation last month. The launch price of the product is 19,999 yuan (about 1.89 million won). The new 55-inch OLED TV by LG has a minimum price of 2.3 million won.
Lee said, "We have been keeping our eyes on the fact as we have experienced price destruction in other areas such as smartphones by Chinese companies. However, we are still maintaining the gap in form factor (design) and processing (image quality) technology. Innovations like the Rollable design is only available by LG Electronics, and there is a gap of about 2 years in terms of the processing technology."
Currently, OLED TVs are available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch sizes. Lee Hee-Young, head of LG Electronics' TV Product Planning Team 2, said, "We worry about the popularization of OLED TVs every year through the launch of 55-inch or smaller (40-inch size), but the size of the price competitiveness with LCD TV is too tough. We are constantly checking whether there will be market demand for products smaller than 55 inches.”