OLED TVs are going to have a rough year – here’s why

LG GX Gallery Series OLED (2020) (Image credit: LG)

By all accounts, 2020 was looking like a good year for OLED TVs. It’s not hard to see why, amid growing interest in the premium panel technology and with a new fleet of OLED TVs coming from LG, Sony, Philips and Panasonic, as well as a new 48-inch model size from LG offering a cheaper entry point to its CX OLED range.

However, various factors may stop OLED from triumphing in 2020 in the way we expected. And now, market research company Omdia has provided a new forecast for OLED TV shipments this year, and it's almost half what the company predicted previously – and actually lower than the number of OLED TVs shipped in 2019 (via Statistica).

Omdia (previously IHS Markit) has now forecast only 3.5 million OLED TV units to ship this year – down from a 5.5 million forecast in late 2019. So how does this affect you?

Fallout from the global Covid-19 pandemic has been hitting manufacturers hard, while some, like Sharp, are even leveraging their factories to help make face masks

Elsewhere, LG Display, which manufactures all of the OLED panels used in commercial TVs these days, is still mired in ongoing production issues that are preventing it from scaling up its OLED operation.

What about me?

For now, you shouldn’t necessarily have an issue obtaining an OLED TV if you want one. Various 2019 OLED models are still in stock, while 2020 models are currently entering the market.

The knock-on effect of the above issues, though, is that OLED production isn’t scaling up overly fast, and that means prices will likely take longer to drop than we hoped.

We may see an uptick in OLED TV sales, as increasing swathes of the population find themselves stuck indoors and looking for distraction, or perhaps look for a second screen to keep family members occupied, but right now the supply isn’t getting any bigger.

Via Omdia

Henry St Leger

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.