Buy a TV and roll it up: LG are planning to start selling flexible TVs in the coming year

    According to sources from Bloomberg, LG Electronics Inc. plans to begin mass production and sales of TVs with flexible screens. Analysts of the electronics market are rushing to release a fundamentally new TV with fierce competition, aggravated against the backdrop of strengthening Chinese companies and the plans of long-time South Korean competitor, Samsung, which is developing its own flexible displays (in particular, intends to release a TV and smartphone). Under the cut a bit more facts about the products with the new technology, which the South Korean giant plans to bring happiness to consumers.

    What is known about the new TV

    According to insiders, the diagonal of the flexible new products will be 65-inches. It is noted that TVs will be minimized at the touch of a button, Bloomberg draws an analogy with the garage door, a roller switch comes to my mind.

    Televisions will be equipped with OLED screens. According to the anonymous sources of the publication thanks to organic light-emitting diodes, the screens will be able to provide a clearer and more contrasting image than traditional liquid crystal panels.

    The world's first flexible transparent OLED display was demonstrated by LG in June 2017.

    Another presentation took place at CES-2018. The screen (sample of 2017) had a diagonal of 77 inches and other quite impressive characteristics, in particular, the resolution of 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 40% transparency and a bend radius of 80 mm, which does not affect the performance of the device.


    In 2017 - 2018, the exhibition device from LG looked like a kind of response to the registration by their compatriots from Samsung of a patent describing a flexible TV. In the coming year we are talking about a full-fledged commercial product.

    Market situation

    It is known that now there is a fairly tough technological competition between traditional LCD matrices, OLED technology and the promising development of LCD, which Samsung marketers called QLED. At the same time, it is known that, according to Statista, LCD-TVs as a whole account for about 98% of the market, OLED is satisfied with 1.1% of the pie, which is far from LG's global ambitions. Meanwhile, in the vast majority of authoritative forecasts, the growth potential of the OLED market share is estimated well, with an increase of 60–70%.

    Cheap Chinese products are rapidly conquering the market, and the efforts of the main competitor are pushing the Korean giant as quickly as possible to launch a serial flexible TV, which, obviously, will appear at the beginning of the year and will be shown at CES-2019. It is known that LG never bypasses this event and annually selects CES as a platform for the presentation of new products.

    Skeptical estimates suggest that for a global consumer, Chinese low prices today are much more interesting than Korean innovations. They say that the market, as has happened more than once with bright and ambitious technologies, will ignore expensive flexible TV sets for quite a long time, and LG will be able to win back only minor niche segments. In such estimates, as a rule, it is noted that global demand for such products will be possible only if LG drops prices to the level of the plinth, i.e. make them comparable with Chinese manufacturers.

    More about LG's expected flexible displays.

    It is known that, unlike Samsung, LG does not plan to release a flexible smartphone, while Korean sources have already reported about the likely exit of a Lenovo tablet with a flexible screen, which is created by the LG Display division.

    According to insiders, the diagonal of the screen of the new tablet will be 13 inches in the unfolded and 8-9 in the folded state. It was also reported that the device and the screens themselves will be produced in China. It is known that LG plans to offer this display to Dell, whose share in the gadget market has slipped somewhat over the past few years.

    LG declines to comment on any news and reports about flexible displays, TVs and tablets.


    Obviously, thanks to LG's flexible screens, they are seeking to regain lost positions of market leaders and popularize OLED technology, which, despite obvious advantages, has proven to be expensive for consumers. On the other hand, it is impossible not to pay attention to skeptical arguments, such as the likely high cost of a new product, which may scare away stingy buyers who do not want to pay for the controversial advantage in the form of the possibility of turning the screen into a straw.

    In my opinion, technology certainly has a future, especially in cases where the TV needs to be transported somewhere. At a comparable cost, such TVs will become an obvious alternative to projectors, which today remain more compact. In my opinion, any technology that provides the user with more freedom than a competitor’s solution should, in advance, eventually win. Maybe I'm wrong.

    In any case, I will be glad to know your opinion. Participate in the survey and share opinions in the comments, it is important for us, for the market, for manufacturers and suppliers, for the information field and for yourself.

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