LG Electronics has begun accepting pre-orders for its 55-inch curved OLED TV in South Korea, with deliveries to begin next month.
The TV vendors are under pressure to come up with new reasons for consumers to buy new sets, as global LCD TV shipments declined for the first time ever in 2012, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Along with developments such as smart TVs and 4K resolution, LG is hoping the curved screen will differentiate its products from the competition and help build its brand.
LG has been developing the underlying technology for more than five years to get the curvature right. The entire screen surface on the 55EA9800 can be equidistant from viewers eyes if they sit in exactly the right spot, “eliminating the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail,” according to LG.
The set is only 4.3 millimeters thick and and weighs about 17 kilograms. But all that comes at a price: the TV will cost about $13,500, according to LG.
The set will become available in other parts of the world, as well. Timing and pricing in markets outside of South Korea will be announced in the months ahead, the company said.
The market for OLED TVs is will be small one, according to NPD DisplaySearch. The company expects it will take until 2015 before more that 2 million sets are shipped, and in 2016 about 7 million units are expected to be shipped. That compares to the 233 million TVs that were shipped worldwide last year.