New Normal or Not, OLED TVs Remain Extraordinary

By Alex Jensen – 

The buzz around OLED TVs shows no sign of slowing as December’s already nearly upon us – in fact demand is still very much accelerating. Ahead of the festive shopping season, OLEDs have topped TV performance evaluations by consumer media across 14 countries. And if the excitement generated by recent events like this Pink Sweat$ OLED giveaway are anything to go by, people are just itching to get their hands on one of these amazing TVs.

If the proof is in the data, then the numbers do show that OLED TVs are selling better than ever. Just a couple of months ago, I noted that market watcher Omdia expected OLED TV sales to reach 6.1 million units this year. That was up from an earlier 2021 forecast of 5.8 million units. Well, now Omdia’s saying OLED TV shipments are set to reach 6.5 million units this year – a 78% increase from last year’s 3.65 million units. That may even be a modest estimate, given Omdia has repeatedly upgraded its OLED forecasts in the past, and I’ve heard from some local analysts suggesting we may see a doubling of last year’s figure by the end of next month.

It’s even more impressive when we consider that the global TV market generally is slowing down. This is an expected correction as people spend less time at home while returning to various forms of normality – after all, we are now approaching two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Overall TV shipments are forecast to be down nearly 10% in the second half of this year from the same period in 2020, also based on Omdia’s analysis.

Yet, the market watcher maintains a sunny outlook for OLED’s future. It expects a steady acceleration to 10.5 million OLED TV shipments by 2025. Based on previous evaluations, don’t be surprised to see this revised up and up going forward!

And so, regardless of wider consumer trends, it would appear that people are buying OLEDs for the reasons that are most obvious – vivid colors, deep blacks, sleek designs, and in other words, their superior quality! And not only that, but they are becoming more affordable and therefore mainstream, as I noted earlier this year. Plus, it just feels like OLED is enjoying a cool factor like never before, including recent examples like lighting up London’s art scene and that Pink Sweat$ collaboration I referred to before.

In line with OLED’s rise against the wider trend, we have seen the number of companies selling OLED TVs continue to get bigger, growing from 17 in 2019 to 20 this year. With LG Display actually making the OLED TV panels, its capacity is quickly rising to match TV sales – it has expanded its facilities to be able to increase OLED production to 10 million panels a year. The key numbers then are still only moving in one direction.


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