Japanese companies are throwing down a challenge to LG Electronics in the market of large organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs. As OLED TV supply is expected to expand significantly beginning 2020, LG Electronics is likely to compete fiercely with such Japanese companies as Sony and Panasonic in the OLED TV market.
LG Electronics' global OLED TV market share has been falling quarter by quarter. According to Market research firm IHS Markit’s analysis of the OLED TV market in the third quarter of this year, LG Electronics' market share dropped to 49.8 percent, falling below 50 percent for the first time. In the first quarter of last year, its market share stood at 73.2 percent.
On the other hand, Japanese TV companies such as Sony and Panasonic are showing high growth after adopting OLED panels. Sony's OLED TV market share, which introduced OLED panels in 2017, soared to 23.7 percent in the third quarter of this year, surpassing 11.9 percent in the first quarter of last year.
Panasonic began to produce OLED TVs in 2015 and recorded a mere 4.8 percent market share in the first quarter of last year, but its share jumped to 13.8 percent in the third quarter of this year. LG Electronics has dominated the OLED TV market but it is highly likely that Sony and Panasonic will form a three-runner race with LG Electronics in 2020.
As a result, companies are unveiling products of a new form factor such as rollable OLED TVs and Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) TVs. LG Electronics will launch the world's first rollable OLED TV in Korea in December. The company plans to launch 8K OLED TVs in the Japanese market by the end of this year and expand the 8K product line to the world before the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Sony released in June a TV with Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) technology that generates sound from the screen itself without a speaker. Sony is focusing on the premium TV market and took second place after Samsung Electronics in the market of TVs worth over US$2,500.
Recently, Sharp announced that it has developed a 30-inch rollable OLED TV. Market watchers are skeptical about Sharp actually releasing an OLED TV to the market, the development of a rollable OLED TV has increased the possibility of Sharp’s entry.
In particular, competition is expected to heat up as the number of companies in the OLED TV group will rise next year.
China's Xiaomi and Huawei, and Vizio of the U.S. announced that they will adopt OLED panels next year. Presently, a total of 15 companies have joined the OLED TV market since LG Electronics made its first entry into the OLED TV market in 2013. OLED TV sales are expected to reach five million units next year and 10 million units by 2023 from three million units this year.