Could the introduction of a “budget-friendly” TCL OLED TV prompt major brands to bring their prices down to maintain their place in the television upmarket?
Having made its own progress in the television market with its QLED-based TVs, the multinational Chinese electronics company has just announced that it is well along the way to creating the first ever TCL OLED TVs.
According to The National Interest, a recent article by TechRadar mentioned that TCL is set to stake its claim in the OLED market, with production targeted to begin by 2023. Reports claim that the company has been experimenting with a new inkjet-printed OLED TV method, and have also made an investment in JOLED.
It is suspected that the production of TCL OLED TVs may potentially set off a price-reduction amongst other brands, which would be quite significant of an impact considering the generally high costs of OLED televisions. TCL is likely to use a cheaper process for its OLEDs to support its entry into the market.
What have competitors been up to?
Leading brands like LG Display produce OLED panels which are purchased by major OLED TV manufacturers, such as LG Electronics and Sony. Samsung, on the other hand, is apparently brewing up a whole new kind of TV; QD-QLED, “a hybrid display technology that aims to take the already very impressive qualities of OLED TV and improve on brightness and color through the use of quantum dots.” as described by Digital Trends. This QD-QLED TV may be launched by 2022.
IHS Markit senior analyst, Chase Li informed TechRadar that OLED market penetration has remained limited, despite years of competing against LCDs in terms of high-quality displays, due to its consequentially high production expenses. “[Ink-jet printing] has the potential to dramatically reduce manufacturing expenses, making OLEDs more cost-competitive with LCDs in products including televisions and displays for computers and tablets.” Li added.
What Hifi. stated that TCL’s British branch has made subtle nods to the OLED timeline during a UK press conference, by providing details of release plans for mid-range and lower P and C Series Televisions, both of which are Google-TV-equipped.
In an interview with TCL’s Aaron Dew, Tom’s Guide was told that the company is definitely investing in self-emissive technologies as it does envision opportunities in the future of that route, hence TCL’s evaluation of future display technologies to invest in further when the time comes. Though Dew gave no specifics regarding production or arrival dates for the aforementioned new-technology TVs, he at least made it clear that TCL is determined to proceed with in-house production rather than purchasing LG’s, or any other manufacturer’s OLED panels.
While major brands may not be so keen on the possibility of having to lower their own OLED TV prices by the time TCL product versions come out, this could be a pro for those who have long sought after OLED TVs but simply haven’t been able to get past the price. No matter how far technology progresses, prioritizing affordability will always be understandable. Those whose budgets aren’t yet at the level of today’s OLED TV selections can still content themselves with a Sony Z8H 85 Inch TV: 8K Ultra HD Smart LED TV or TCL 4K Smart LED TV, 43″.