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Samsung says OLED monitors coming next year

Company is doubling its OLED production the next two years so the panels will be available not just for televisions, but monitors, and laptop displays as well.

Sony's teased us for a bit with its impossibly thin, 11-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV, and finally brought it to the U.S. this year. Now it looks like there will be more to choose from in OLED TVs next year. Samsung SDI says that by 2009, not only will it have OLED panels for larger TVs, but also for monitors and notebook displays, according to a report in Digitimes.

OLED TVs on display at CES Michael Kanellos/CNET

The report quotes Samsung SDI's VP of mobile display marketing, Woo-Jong Lee, who says that Samsung SDI will be able to produce 3 million panels in 2009, which is double what they can crank out now. Lee said the company anticipates doubling its capacity again by the close of 2010.

The liquid crystal display (LCD) industry probably doesn't have much to worry about yet. OLED panels are incredibly expensive to produce right now, and, yes, they're awfully pretty. (Sony's 11-inch display achieves a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio, which is by far the best available for a TV.) But even as production increases from one manufacturer, it doesn't necessarily mean the prices will drop down to where flat panels have sunk. The 11-inch OLED TV from Sony costs $2,500. For that price you could also get a 50-inch Pioneer Kuro, generally regarded as the best plasma TV on the market.

Though Samsung has previously discussed making OLED TVs, the company still has yet to release one. A year ago Toshiba also said it's planning on investing in OLED panels. Sony is betting on OLED's eventual domination of the display market, but it's also heavily invested in LCD.

However, Panasonic, which owns the plasma TV market, doesn't anticipate LCD or plasma TVs fading out anytime soon.