UPDATE: The official price tag for the LG rollable OLED has been revealed at ₩100,000,000 in South Korea, and $87,000 in the US – which converts to around £67,000 / AU$123,000. It's a smidge lower than the amount reported below, but still a decent amount higher than the original expected RRP. Read on for the full story below...
The LG Signature Series OLED R – a rollable 65-inch OLED TV designed to roll up into a discreet box when not in use – is finally going on sale. And it seems to be retailing for slightly less than was reported in early October, if still quite a bit more than what we'd expected to pay in 2019.
The set is initially launching in South Korea, the home of LG Electronics, this month, after months of uncertainty over when the experimental tech would finally come to market. The innovative OLED was first shown off at CES 2019 – back when it was acceptable to gather at crowded tech expos in person to gawk at new gadgets – and was meant to launch later that year, but to no avail.
Almost two years later, the rollable OLED is finally coming to its first territory. While we do expect it to come to global markets eventually, the long delay and surprisingly high price tag does mean it's likely we have some time to wait before anyone can buy it (let alone afford it) elsewhere.
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How much does it cost?
Earlier in October, we reported on claims made by Nikkei Asia that the rollable OLED TV would retail for around $100,000 – ₩116,091,000 in South Korean won by current conversion rates. That converts to roughly £77,000 / AU$140,000, which is a big step above the rumored $60,000 retail price we heard about at the start of this year.
However, there seems to have been a change of plans – possibly in response to negative reception around the high price, or possibly just because Nikkei's source was a little off in their prediction.
The official price tag for the LG rollable OLED has now been revealed at ₩100,000,000 in South Korea, and $87,000 when it eventually launches in the US. That converts to £67,000 / AU$123,000 in the UK and Australia too.
It's still a hefty sum, of course, and LG's usual pricing conventions leads us to believe that UK pricing will probably inflate slightly to number-match the converted US price (e.g. $87,999 / £87,999). The exact global pricing isn't confirmed, though, and we'll have to wait until the model comes elsewhere to know for sure.
More than meets the eye
The rollable OLED isn't just a 65-inch TV, of course. It's also a showcase for the future of TV display technology, which LG is determined to have a part in shaping.
The flexible properties of OLED are leading a lot of display manufacturers to experiment with new form factors, especially with smartphones – while the original Samsung Galaxy Fold was something of a disaster, the market is now filling up with folding, flexing, and twisting alternatives to the standard smartphone shape.
LG's rollable OLED is certainly a sight to behold. Having seen it in action at a tech expo or two, we can vouch for the slick unfurling mechanism – and LG has hinted at its capability to do so downwards from the ceiling, too.
Whether rollable OLEDs become a widely adopted technology, of course, will depend on it coming to other territories – and eventually becoming affordable. With this jaw-dropping price tag, though, that future seems a way off.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.