Panasonic & Sony to Collaborate on OLED TVs
In a surprising move, Japanese competitors Panasonic and Sony announced in a press release today that they have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels for TVs and other large-size displays. The companies intend to establish mass-production technology during 2013 by integrating their individual strengths to improve the efficiency of development.
This announcement is likely a response to the impending release of a 55-inch OLED TV by LG (seen above at its introduction during the Cannes Film Festival with LG Europe's Stanley Cho, film director Jean-Jacques Annaud, and model Gemma Sanderson), which is now slated for the fourth quarter of this year with a list price of around $10,000 in the US. Samsung also unveiled a 55-inch OLED TV at CES last January, but no release date or pricing have yet been announced. Clearly, the Japanese manufacturers don't want to trail far behind the Koreans in the race to create the next generation of flat-panel TVs.
As you may recall, Sony introduced the world's first OLED TV in 2007, but at $2500 for an 11-inch screen, it didn't take the market by storm. The company's 25-inch professional OLED monitor, introduced last year, comes closer to a practical TV, but its $26,000 price tag is anything but practical for most consumers.
Sony's expertise includes deposition techniques and hybrid technologies that combine deposition and printing, thin-film transistor (TFT) drivers, and flexible organic TFTs. Panasonic will contribute its proprietary printing technology and equipment that lowers the cost of producing large-size OLED panels.
In addition to collaborating on the development and mass production of OLED panels, each company also plans to commercialize its own competitive OLED TVs. Now, there's an interesting ideasimultaneous collaboration and competition. Next year should be very interesting for those of us who are eagerly awaiting OLED TVs to hit the market!