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OLED TV sales to soar, says market watcher

But won't match plasma - let alone LCD - until 2017

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Sales of OLED TVs will skyrocket between now and 2016. The bad news for OLED watchers is that a compound annual growth rate of 140 per cent still leaves the technology behind plasma let alone LCD.

The growth forecast comes from market watcher DisplaySearch, which today predicted that, come 2016, OLED TVs will yield revenues totalling $2.37bn for their manufacturers.

That's up from a mere $2m in 2009, DisplaySearch said. Almost all of those will presumably be Sony's expensive Xel-1.

OLED is seen as the successor to today's LCD and plasma HD TVs, delivering superior colour and much better energy efficiency than current technologies. The snag: for now, at least, making big OLED TVs is colossally expensive.

But surely by 2016 some advances will have been made?

This is unlikely, ccording to DisplaySearch's numbers.

Compare, for example, OLED TV revenues - $2.37bn - with the $37.12bn that LCD TV sales will generate for display makers. That's an order of magnitude more.

Even plasma panels - long held to be on the decline, out-evolved by improved, cheaper LCDs - will, according to DisplaySearch, yielded $3.41bn in 2016 - 32.5 per cent more than OLED.

But OLED will surpass plasma soon after. DisplaySearch has plasma revenues declining by seven per cent year on year, compounded through to 2016, so OLED should push past plasma in 2017 or 2018.

LCD's compound annual growth rate will fall to zero through to 2016, but the sheer scale of sales means t will be a long time before OLED mounts a serious challenge. ®

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