The Mangle

October 3, 2007

Sony OLED TVs – the New iPod?

Filed under: Real Stuff — themangle @ 12:11 am

Sony OLED TVsIn the last couple of days, we have had reports on a new ultra-thin “organic light-emitting diode” OLED TV released in Japan by Sony. They look seriously cool, are only millimetres thick and supposedly have a much faster response time and higher resolution than existing LCD and plasma TVs.

Pundits are comparing the Sony OLED TVs to Apple’s iPod – the sort of device that has the potential to revolutionise and also dominate in the consumer electronics space. However, Sony needs to take a punt with these TVs, otherwise they will never give themselves the opportunity to own the next dominant technology. Instead, they are following the traditional method that consumer electronics manufacturers take when they release a new product. Start with a small production run (2000 a month), launch it in limited territories (Japan) and retail it at a premium price: “Sony … expects the 11-inch OLED TV with a thickness of 3 mm to sell for 200,000 yen ($US1,740), almost as high as retail prices of some of its own 40-inch LCD models.”

Good one Sony – there is no way that you will dominate the market with this strategy. Sure – the iPods had some teething problems when they were released – terrible battery performance and shocking after-sales service – but that hasn’t slowed them down! Take a punt Sony – go worldwide release, massive production and an attractive price point. And … you might just own the market. It’s a different world out there from the Walkman days!

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