"Price re­mains to be the big­gest stum­bling block that’s pre­vent­ing the wide­spread adop­tion of OLED dis­plays.”

HWM (Singapore) - - Think -

for the first time, OLED dis­plays be­ing used in note­books and com­puter mon­i­tors. Len­ovo is of­fer­ing op­tional OLED dis­plays on their new ThinkPad X1 Yoga de­vice. We saw the OLED variant along­side the stan­dard IPS LCD model and the dif­fer­ence was as­tound­ing. The OLED model looked in­cred­i­bly vivid and im­ages were more life­like.

Apart from Len­ovo, Dell also an­nounced its new 4K OLED Ul­traSharp 30 mon­i­tor at CES 2016. This new mon­i­tor boasts very im­pres­sive spec­i­fi­ca­tions in­clud­ing a 0.1ms re­sponse time and a 400,000:1 dy­namic con­trast ra­tio. It also cov­ers 100% of the Adobe RGB color space, as well as 97.8% of DCI-P3 color space - the color space used ex­ten­sively in cinema to­day. Al­though it’s a mon­i­tor tar­geted at pro­fes­sional users, the in­sane re­sponse time and amaz­ing col­ors would likely ap­peal to any en­thu­si­ast or power user as well. But there’s still one prob­lem to over­come How­ever, there’s still one stum­bling block and that’s price - the Dell 4K OLED Ul­traSharp 30 mon­i­tor is ex­pected to cost around US$4,999 ($7,137 at the time of writ­ing). Dell’s ex­ist­ing Ul­traSharp 32 Ul­tra HD 4K mon­i­tor, which uses an IPS LCD dis­play and was also de­signed for pro­fes­sional use, is con­sid­er­ably more ac­ces­si­ble at US$1,799 - just over a third of the price of the new OLED Ul­traSharp 30 mon­i­tor.

In fact, price re­mains to be the big­gest stum­bling block that’s pre­vent­ing the wide­spread adop­tion of OLED dis­plays. If we were to com­pare sim­i­lar-sized tele­vi­sions us­ing OLED and LCD dis­plays, the OLED model will cost about 40% more. And ac­cord­ing to IHS Re­search, it is es­ti­mated that it would cost man­u­fac­tur­ers dou­ble to LG has been OLED’s most vis­i­ble pro­po­nent, and ear­lier this year at CES 2016, it un­veiled its new G6 OLED tele­vi­sions. Sup­port­ing 4K res­o­lu­tion and avail­able in 77 and 65-inch sizes, the dis­play of th­ese new tele­vi­sions is just 2.57 mm thick. The bezels are also just as thin. In fact, it’s so thin that LG is call­ing the G6 tele­vi­sions Pic­ture-On-Glass.

To com­plete the fu­tur­is­tic look, the back of the tele­vi­sion is translu­cent, and the tele­vi­sions have for­ward-fac­ing soundbar speak­ers. Th­ese new tele­vi­sions run we­bOS 3.0, and also sup­port OLED HDR and HDR for­mats such as HDR10 and Dol­byVi­sion. put an OLED dis­play into a PC as op­posed to an LCD dis­play.

New tech­nol­ogy is al­ways costly to man­u­fac­ture partly be­cause of im­ma­ture man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses and also high R&D costs. This was the case for SSDs too, but look at how af­ford­able they are now. Thank­fully, prices of OLED dis­plays could come down in the next year or so. The tech­nol­ogy is fairly ma­ture now and vol­ume man­u­fac­tur­ing by key play­ers in the in­dus­try looks set to take place in the near fu­ture.

LG has just in­vested US$380 mil­lion to build a new fac­tory to ramp up pro­duc­tion of OLED dis­plays, which should help bring down the costs of OLED pan­els in time. Be­fore LG’s in­vest­ment, Sam­sung an­nounced an even larger US$3.6 bil­lion in­vest­ment in Fe­bru­ary last year to build more OLED pan­els. Ja­pan Dis­play, an­other large pro­ducer of LCD pan­els, also an­nounced that it would start mass pro­duc­tion of OLED dis­plays in 2018.

It seems that what­ever hes­i­ta­tions man­u­fac­tur­ers had about OLED tech­nol­ogy have been al­layed, and it’s likely that OLED could be the pre­dom­i­nant dis­play tech­nol­ogy in the not so dis­tant fu­ture.

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