Those fancy OLED televisions might be about to get cheaper

Quality OLED televisions are still priced prohibitively highly, setting UK customers back thousands of pounds per set – but is that about to change?

When it comes to television panels, the industry gold standard is OLED, or organic light emitting diode. Unlike conventional LCD displays, OLED screens feature pixels that light up independently and individually, negating the need for a backlight. That means they’re significantly more power efficient, but that’s not all. Thanks to the fact that individual pixels can be turned on or off, it’s possible to display true blacks, meaning OLED screens can offer a wider dynamic range and colour gamut.

But OLED screens are hard to manufacture, and the industry is seriously cut-throat. For phone-sized panels, for instance, Samsung dominates the industry with over a 90% market share. When it comes to television-sized panels however, LG is the clear winner.

Such dominance is always bad for consumers, but new competition may soon be introduced to the industry, at least according to a new report by the Japan Times.

Sharp – which is now owned by Foxconn (of Apple supply chain fame) – is allegedly planning to spend 57.4 billion Yen (£403 million) on new production lines for OLED panels. One line is expected to be in the town of Taki, Mie Prefecture, where small and medium sized panels will be created. Another line, meanwhile, will be set up at the Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, plan, where panels for TV-sized OLED panels will be set up.

If Sharp can produce quality OLED panels in bulk, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see the price of OLED televisions falling as a result of the increased market competition. Similarly, we’d expect to see smartphones featuring OLED displays to become more prominent, as many phone vendors – Apple included – have refrained from adopting the tech.

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What sort of TV do you own? Are you tempted by upgrades like 4K, HDR, or OLED? Let us know in the comments.