Japan’s major TV producer Sharp is expected to join the group of OLED TV makers this year as it plans to release OLED TVs loaded with panels from LG Display.
Nikkei Asian Review Sharp reported on Jan. 26 that Sharp will add OLED TVs to its lineup in Japan to halt a drop in its market share. Prices of Sharp’s OLED TVs will start in the 300,000 yen range, on a par with the competition. The TVs are due out as early as spring, according to the report.
This marks a new start for Sharp since it has focused on LCD TVs, the report noted. Sharp’s struggle at the high-end LCD TV market led the company to make a foray into the OLED TV market.
The proportion of OLED TVs in the Japanese premium TV market (US$2,000 or higher) exceeded 75 percent, TV Industry analysts say. In addition, demand for premium TVs is expected to surge due to the Tokyo Olympic Games this year. Sharp may have also been influenced by LG Electronics’ inroad into the Japanese TV market.
Sharp is the third company, following Vizio in the United States and Xiaomi in China, which will enter the OLED TV market this year. If these companies launch OLED TVs this year, there will be a total of 18 TV makers joining the OLED TV group including LG Electronics of Korea, Philips of Europe and Sony of Japan. The Japanese OLED TV market is expected to grow fast as Sharp held the largest market share in the Japanese TV market in the third quarter of 2019, according to IHS Markit.
The growth in the number of OLED TV producers brightens the prospects of LG Display, which exclusively supplies OLED TV panels. The Korean display giant plans to double its OLED panel sales this year compared to last year, while suspending LCD TV panel production in Korea.