Samsung: 'mainstream OLED still 5 years off'

Samsung Forum 2009
Shin (right) believes that mainstream OLED is a distant dream

At its European Forum event, Samsung Europe's new President and CEO was quick to dispel any doubt about the viability of OLED over the next few years, instead insisting it would be half a decade before we see it hit the mainstream market.

"When it comes to OLED we have several issues to be overcome in terms of technology and production cost issues," said Sang Heung Shin, speaking to the gathered press in Vienna, Austria. "[It will be] at least 4-5 years before we see OLED in the marketplace."

His comments echo the stance of other manufacturers such as Sharp. At CES, Sharp CEO and Chair Doug Koshima was keen to stress that "the present and future is LCD." It's no coincidence, of course: Samsung and Sharp have spent millions on LCD manufacturing facilities and have planned to spend millions more as we saw in our inside look at Samsung's LCD manufacturing plant last year.

Samsung itself had previously indicated that OLED might be viable this year.

Samsung also intimated that it would be concentrating its efforts on ever larger screen sizes, even though some markets still demand smaller sizes in large quantities. "There's still some strong demand in some countries for 32-inch," said Hadrian Baumann, Director of European marketing at the company.

"We have seen an explosion in the market for 40-inch and above. I can tell you that 40-and 46-inch [sets] are extremely popular. The perception was that [the market was] too small, but it is a market we are very bullish about. [We'll be] focusing on the larger sizes."

"We have great expectations that we will be very successful in the years to come," added Kim. "We want to be a technology leader in the 21st century." Shin also feels there are some sectors that can grow well over the next year. "The printer and notebook PC markets, in particular, offer high growth potential."

"Our 2009 product lines represent a new generation of converged products that blend technology with the active lifestyles of European consumers," added Shin as he eulogised about the company's new kit and strategy for growth in the year ahead.

Samsung also introduced its new netbooks at the event, as well as other products including its new 8000, 7000 and 6000 LED TV ranges that we reported on the launch of at CES in January.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.