Seoul, South Korea — LG Electronics said here Tuesday that it has started taking pre-orders for its 55-inch WRGB OLED TV (model 55EM9700) in South Korea, and expects to begin deliveries in February.
Other markets where the LG OLED TV will be available will be announced over the next several weeks along with their respective prices, the company said.
The breakthrough big-screen display technology was first unveiled at the 2012 International CES, and the company plans to begin shipments by the end of the year.
Executives with the company confirmed that LG hit some production challenges in bringing the display to market, but it appears the TV maker will now have something ready to go only a few weeks shy of its original target date.
LG Display, which produces LCD and OLED flat-panels for TVs and monitors, said earlier that LG will show two OLED displays at the upcoming International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 8-11. LG’s OLED prototype was a best of show winner last year.
The company is also planning to show three screen sizes of 4K Ultra High-Definition LED edge-lit LCD TVs at the show next week.
LG said more than 1,400 LG retail stores in South Korea will begin accepting orders from consumers for KRW 11 million (approximately $10,000) TVs starting Jan. 3 with delivery to commence the first week of February.
As the first company to announce availability of the next-generation TV technology, LG said it expects to quickly ramp up deliveries to take the lead in the OLED category. LG cited DisplaySearch global research forecasting the display segment to grow to 7.2 million units by 2016.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to make this announcement at the start of the new year because we believe that OLED will usher in a whole new era of home entertainment,” said Havis Kwon, LG Home Entertainment Co. president and CEO. “Not since color TV was first introduced 60 years ago has there been a more transformational moment. When high-definition TV was first introduced 15 years ago, the public’s reaction was ‘Wow!’ but when customers see our razor-thin OLED TV for the first time, they’re left speechless. That’s a clear indicator as any that OLED TV is much more than just an incremental improvement to current television technology.”
The OLED display measures 0.16 inches thin and weighs less than 22 pounds.
LG’s WRGB OLED approach is said to produce “vivid and realistic pictures,” using a unique Four-Color Pixel system using a white sub-pixel, which works in conjunction with the conventional red, blue, green setup to create the color output.
LG’s Color Refiner is said to improve tonal enhancement for more vibrant and natural images.
The 55-inch OLED TV also offers an infinite contrast ratio, which maintains optimal contrast levels regardless of ambient brightness or viewing angle.