OLED TV and QLED TV have been competing for years, but OLED TV is expected to remain its remarkable dominance in high-end TV market in 2018, says WitsView, a division of TrendForce. More brands are expected to enter OLED TV market in 2018 with a growing field rate, and the shipments are expected to reach a new high of 2.5 million units, a significant increase from 1.5 million in 2017.
Promotional efforts from major TV brands such as SONY have raised shipments of OLED TVs above the expected level this year. In contrast, major QLED TV makers including Samsung, TCL and Hisense have experienced some issues of promoting QLED due to its high pricing. Despite of OLED’s lifespan problems including color decay of organic material and burn-in issue, major TV brands are still interested in research and development of OLED which can be thinner with potentials in constant optimization of color saturation and contrast, while the development of LCD is approaching a limit.
QLED TV makers have been advocating its features of better color saturation and no lifespan problems, however, the self-emitting QD display has not yet met the commercial market standards because its light output is difficult to last for a long time due to the low external quantum efficiency. Therefore, in short term, QLED advocates will still use QD backlight products to compete with their rivals. In QD backlight products, the backlight system involves a quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF). Quantum dots are activated by the light from LED to create more highly saturated colors. However, the backlight system, a necessary component of TV, will make it thicker, which is less competitive than OLED. So the new generation of QLED TV will probably use glass light guide plate as a solution for thinner TV.
In addition, pricing is also a big problem for QLED TV this year. Taking the 55-inch 4K TV as an example, the retail price difference between OLED TVs and QLED TVs is only about 100 US dollars. However, with the promotional efforts by major TV makers like LG and SONY, OLED TV has become a representation of high-end TV in consumers’ perception in recent years. So too high pricing of QLED TV may reduce the consumers’ purchase intention.
WitsView estimates that, QD CF and QD self-emitting displays, a new generation of display technologies, which QLED advocates are expecting, will not enter mass production until 2020, at the earliest. So far, however, the highest possible resolution of OLED can only reach 4K due to technical limitations, while QD backlight has no restrictions regarding resolution. Therefore, for QLED TV brands, 8K TV may be a breakthrough opportunity for them to regain their competitiveness in high-end TV market.