OLED can wait, as LG focuses on an Ultra High Definition Christmas

By Claire Reilly

While many retailers and consumers had hoped to see OLED TV in stores by Christmas (after major brands generated buzz with big product unveilings earlier in the year) LG looks set to launch OLED panels in the early months of 2013.

LG Electronics Australia director of marketing, Lambro Skropidis, spoke to Current.com.au about the roll-out of the new technology, offering a delightfully cryptic comment that gave insight into LG’s product launch pipeline.

“I doubt you’ll see OLED before Christmas,” said Skropidis. “I think what you’ll see is some really exciting stuff shown at CES and I think you’re likely to see two companies energised by that opportunity in the first quarter of next year.

“We haven’t announced it to market yet, but obviously we’re in discussion with our factories at the moment.”

Those “two companies” that Skropidis alluded to are the two Korean rivals, LG and Samsung, which have already shown off products at major trade shows including CES and IFA, and are expected to push OLED in a big way in 2013.

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In terms of products for retailers to get excited about in 2012, Skropidis said Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV would be the flagship entertainment product for LG leading into the festive season.

“At the moment our focus is on Ultra High Definition, which will hit stores this month,” he said. “We’re in the process of agreeing the top retailers – when we launched it we announced that we’d be selective with our distribution and very shortly we’ll be releasing the list. Obviously we want to ship that this month if we can.

“There are obviously a lot of discussions happening with our sales team about where the right place to sell Ultra High Definition TV is. There’s a difference between people just being casually interested and people being genuinely interested in purchasing.”

According to Skropidis, UHD TV will bring a real boost to retailers that are given the opportunity to sell it, simply because it is such a new innovation.

“It’s going to be really exciting because it’s a high average selling price so retailers are really energised by it, and it’s something really new for consumers. It’s not just a couple of inches bigger physically, but it’s a new technology. And I think that will be the attention-grabber from a consumer point of view for the next couple of months.

“I think people are being overwhelmed by how good the picture quality is, not just in the Ultra High Definition format, but when we just put on a Blu-ray, or with 3D or gaming. It’s much more impressive than we expected. So it’s giving retailers an extra story to sell.

“There were some concerns early about whether a lack of UHD content could be a barrier or not – but we’re not finding that. We’re finding that people are genuinely interested in the product.”

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