Following its release in Korea late last year LG’s entry into the OLED TV market, the EL9500, is apparently now shipping in the UK. Without any fanfare (or even a picture of the unit) a listing for the 15-inch TV has appeared on Amazon.co.uk with a price of UK£1,970.25 (approx. US$2,962 at time of publication). The listing comes as a bit of a surprise as LG had previously announced that it would start shipping the 15-inch TV in Europe in May 2010.
The apparent availability of LG’s OLED offering comes a month after Sony announced it would cease selling its 11-inch XEL-1 OLED TV in Japan after just two years on the market. Although OLED technology has been touted as the next big thing in TV display technology with its superb image quality and ultra thin profile, costs of the TVs coupled with small screen sizes has kept consumers away.
According to Japanese market research company DisplaySearch Sony produced an estimated 2,000 XEL-1 units last year, with each one selling for 200,000 yen (approx. US$2,210). Sony has said it will now focus on LED 3D TVs, but will continue research and development of OLED TVs in Europe and North America.
This leaves LG’s 15EL9500 as the only option for consumers looking to soak up some OLED goodness – until other players release their OLED TV offerings or current stock of Sony’s 11-inch XEL-1 disappear. But with LG’s offering coming in at less than half the price of Sony’s and with an extra 4-inches of screen real estate retailers could be left holding a few units if there isn’t a price drop forthcoming.