OLED TVs are experiencing something of a renaissance.
Last year, forecasts predicted a gloomy 2020 for the premium panel technology, with analytics firm Omdia expecting only 3.5 million OLED TV units to ship worldwide amid the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Those figures turned out to be more-or-less accurate, but the latest forecasts from Omdia predict a huge year-on-year increase in OLED TV production for 2021 – with South Korean giant tech LG leading the way.
According to new predictions, LG Display will produce 8.3 million OLED TVs this year, marking an 86% increase over the 4.5 million units the company produced in 2020.
LG's internal target for 2021 is reportedly 8 million units, with demand for its premium displays spiking in tandem with its expanded production capacity, particularly at its Guangzhou line in China.
The new forecast also suggests LG is likely to reduce its average panel size, which may increase its ability to ship more units – despite an expansion into 83-inch OLEDs this year.
LG has established itself as the foremost manufacturer of OLED TVs in recent years, with the company’s production figures increasing – a pandemic-hampered 2020 notwithstanding – year-on-year.
A small fish in a big pond
Even if Omdia’s lofty 8.3 million-unit prediction for the company comes to fruition in 2021, it would still represent only a small fraction of the estimated 280 million TV units expected to be shipped worldwide.
That’s because lower-spec displays like LCDs still dominate the TV market. Nowadays, you can pick up hundreds of competent TVs for very little money, with even 4K displays ranking among the best value TVs you can buy right now. As new display technology emerges, too, those cheap TVs are only going to get cheaper.
With that being said, LG recently shared its findings surrounding the environmental benefits of switching to OLED panels. The company suggests the display technology requires far less plastic than most other TV types, and uses less power than the likes of LCD and QLED screens, too.
Could that mean we’ll see old-gen displays like LCDs eventually phased out completely on environmental grounds? Only time will tell on that front, but it’s clear that OLED TVs, at least, are steaming back to popularity in 2021.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.