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Sony scraps OLED for Japan, OKs Australia

Sony has confirmed it will continue to sell OLED panels in Australia despite announcing that it is halting sales and production for Japan due to "weak demand".

Sony has confirmed it will continue to sell OLED panels in Australia despite announcing that it is halting sales and production for Japan due to "weak demand".

Sony OLED TVs
Sony shows off its OLED TVs at CES 2007 (Credit: Michael Kanellos/CNET)

The company plans to continue selling the 11-inch XEL-1 screen in the US, Europe, and, importantly, Australia and will continue its R&D into larger screen sizes.

The screen retails for AU$6999, though CNET Australia's local Sony Central (owned by Bing Lee) has the XEL-1 on sale for a massively discounted AU$1800.

As such, the Sony screen is still the only OLED to hit the Australian market, though LG reportedly plans to release a model sometime this year.

At CES 2010 Sony exhibited a 24-inch 3D OLED that looked quite impressive, though it was only a technology demo.

We definitely think the most recent announcement is but a minor road bump for the technology, as after reviewing the XEL-1 we firmly believe this is the future of TV. Just maybe not for a couple more years.

In a statement to CNET Australia, Sony said:

"Sony will no longer ship the XEL-1 into the Japanese market after April 2010. Sales of XEL-1 in US, Latin America, Europe and Australia will continue as before. The R&D of mid-large-sized OLED panels will also continue to proceed. Sony’s development of OLED panel is making a steady progress. We are investigating its applications in various areas (not only TV), where we can deliver new lifestyle product concepts and applications that make full use of its unique characteristics such as slimness, superb picture quality and lightness.