Sony executive disputes Sharp’s OLED lifespan criticism

By Matthew Henry in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS: Sony’s executive deputy president, Katsumi Ihara, has disputed Sharp’s criticisms of OLED technology saying that its new 11-inch model launched in the USA this week will last for 10 years of normal use.

While Ihara, who heads up Sony’s global consumer electronics division, said it was true that OLED’s total lifespan is lower than current flat panel technologies at around 30,000 hours, Sony claims consumers who use the TV eight hours a day can expect a product life of up to 10 years.

“We are quite confident that life span is not an issue. For the general consumer, it is not an issue at all,” he told an Asia-Pacific media briefing.

Sharp Corporation yesterday said it would continue to develop LCD technology and would not move to OLED at this stage due to product lifespan issues, which the company said would restrict product life of OLED televisions to three or four years.

Sharp said it would not make OLED commercially available until it was confident the technology would last for at least 10 years of normal use.

Sony’s XEL-1 is on sale in Sony Style stores for RRP $2,500 and will be rolled out across the USA in the coming months.

When asked whether the market will switch to OLED as the dominant flat panel technology, Ihara responded, “I hope so”.

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