Sony halts OLED TV sales in Japan
Citing sluggish demand, Sony ends sales of its 11-inch OLED TV in Japan, though the XEL-1 will remain available overseas.
Weak demand has forced Sony to put an end to its OLED TV in Japan.
The company is canceling production and sales of the 11-inch XEL-1--which sells for $2,500--in its native country, though Sony said it plans to continue spending on production and R&D in other countries.
Unveiled three years ago, the world's first OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVfor its vibrant colors and sharp display. TVs with OLED screens are also ultrathin and more energy efficient than LED or plasma sets. But the XEL-1's small screen and high price virtually guaranteed that the product would never win a huge market share among average consumers.
OLED displays have taken off in cell phones and other mobile devices where the screen sizes are small. But OLED TVs have beento produce, especially in larger sizes. Though Sony kept promising it would introduce a 27-inch OLED TV, that product never materialized. A Wall Street Journal story from August also noted that Sony's poor financial performance at the time would likely to the production of future OLED TVs.
Other manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG, have demoed their own OLED TVs at trade shows. But, like Sony, these companies have bumped into thesuch sets. So none of the announced products has actually hit the market.
Sony's exit from the technology could be the nail in the coffin for OLED TV, at least for now, as companies look to other less costly innovations such as 3D TVs and LED backlit LCDs.