By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung and LG will unveil prototypes of remote-controlled flexible OLED TVs ㅡ considered the next big thing in the industry ㅡ at the International Consumer Electronics (ICES) next month.
The ICES is scheduled for Jan. 7 to 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Because the annual exhibition has long been considered as the place to see new trends and devices in the industry, attention is focused on which new technologies will stun the world.
The Korean electronics giants, which gained attention last year with 55-inch curved OLED TVs, are preparing to wow participants and dealers again this year by unveiling the flexible OLED TVs.
"Samsung will unveil a prototype of the flexible OLED TV at next month's ICES," said an industry official, who is familiar with the issue, Sunday. He declined to unveil specific details about the new TV ㅡ only saying that the display size will be "huge."
The basic concept of the remote-controlled flexible TV is that users can use a control to bend the screen, enabling viewers to get a better viewing angle. Existing OLED TVs are just curved, not flexible and the viewing angle is fixed.
Samsung said the latest technology will use plastic-based OLED displays and a back panel that can deform the display.
The new product represents the advancement of TV technology and shows the company's firm commitment to take the lead over key competitors, the official said.
"Samsung's key local component partners obviously including Samsung Display, have already been in the process of supplying the needed parts. I don't know yet whether the prototype will be displayed in a Samsung booth or only to major clients in closed meetings," he said.
In May, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) granted Samsung a new patent for a flexible OLED TV.
The runner-up LG Electronics plans to adopt flexible OLED technology with the help of its panel-affiliate of LG Display, said LG officials.
"LG's new TV chief will meet clients and reporters for the first time as president and will promote something new. We will also unveil a remote bendable OLED TV that hasn't been seen before," said an LG executive by telephone.
The flexible OLED TVs include customized software that adjusts the content and image; therefore, it's not distorted.
But analysts and market participants agree that this new technology is "nowhere near mass production" as the technology is "two steps" farther than current mainstream TV technology.
The current 55-inch curved OLED TVs manufactured by Samsung and LG are being offered with a price tag of $12,000.