The problem is that they can’t come up with a way of making OLED affordable for the mass market.
Quantum dot involves incorporating a film of tiny light-emitting crystals into regular liquid crystal displays (LCD). The manufacturing process is relatively straightforward and offers improved picture quality at much cheaper cost than using organic light-emitting diodes (OLED).
The manufacturers think that the resulting lower prices could help the technology catch on far quicker. One industry analyst estimated a 55-inch quantum dot TV would be priced 30 to 35 percent more than a current LCD TV, while an OLED TV could be 5 times more expensive.
LG’s 65-inch ultra-high definition OLED TV cost $11,350 which is a big problem.
The only real difficulty is that the quantum dot material comes from a small pool of suppliers, including Quantum Materials and Nanoco who are almost certain to jack up the prices as it might be in short supply.
Nanoco said a South Korean plant being built by partner Dow Chemical will start quantum dot production in the first half of 2015. Analysts believe the output is destined for a local client.
LG plans to make quantum dot TVs in addition to OLED TVs. Analysts regarded that a tacit acknowledgement that OLED needs more time for prices to come down before eventually becoming the new standard.
LG Chief Financial Officer Jung Do-hyun told analysts after the company reported earnings that OLED is the fundamentally superior product.
Samsung Vice President Simon Sung said that quantum dot is among many technologies under consideration.
Sony is the only major electronics manufacturer selling quantum dot TVs. Researcher DisplaySearch forecasts 1.95 million quantum dot TV shipments next year, for just 0.8 percent of the market, growing to 25.5 million by 2020. IHS Technology sees OLED TV shipments at 7.8 million units by 2019 from 600,000 in 2015.