Marching to Dominance: The Irresistible Rise of OLEDs

By Matthew Weigand –

With another holiday weekend behind us, we witnessed yet further evidence that it’s never been easier for the general public to get their hands on an OLED TV. But this wasn’t just a Labor Day thing. The stay-at-home trend has had a huge impact on spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, to the extent that mass efforts to upgrade home appliances even led to a shortage of kitchen appliances and washing machines. Well, right up there with essential home items, you have the television. And when it comes to a TV upgrade, it seems more people are choosing OLED.

Indeed, OLED TVs reached a double-digit share of the global TV market for the first time in the second quarter of 2021, according to data released on September 5 by market research firm Omdia. Accounting for 11.7% of the total TV market by value, OLED TVs were shown to be growing faster than the earlier forecast of a 10% market share. And in North America and Europe, OLEDs had an even bigger share of 13.1% and 16.6% respectively.

This impressive performance is magnified when we look at the premium TV market, which has been defined here before as featuring next-generation display technology. Among the technologies that fit this classification, OLED TVs had a whopping share of 80% of new TV shipments during Q2. And that’s not all, as Omdia also expects OLED TV sales to jump by 70% to 6.1 million units this year, from 3.65 million units in 2020.

In light of this trend, I think it’s clear that the strength of OLED TVs can be interpreted as more people showing interest in a superior product. OLEDs obviously speak for themselves in terms of quality, so in that sense it’s no surprise to see them taking up a greater market share. Their self-emissive technological backbone runs across various screen sizes and form factors, facilitating vibrant images, deep blacks, and sleek designs. The fact that so many people have spent more time at home over the last couple of years appears to have just encouraged them to discover what OLED TVs have to offer.

All this leads me to conclude that OLED TVs are becoming more firmly established than ever. With 80% of the premium market already, OLED TVs have confidently passed the tipping point in that segment. Since the mass market generally follows premium trends, it’s evident that OLED TVs are marching towards becoming a dominant display technology. The only question right now is, what special OLED deals will Black Friday present to us?

Matthew Weigand has been living and working in South Korea as a journalist and editor following the technology and business scene here for over 15 years. With a focus on new and emerging tech, Matthew likes to provide insight on how business and tech influence each other.


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