LG Goes One Better With New ‘Budget’ OLED TV

This week LG will roll out to more than 20 retailers nationwide its second-generation Curved OLED TV for under $7000.

It comes ahead of the company releasing its latest UHD or 4K TVs and amid the country’s first “hybrid” TV, which has dual Freeview|HD and satellite tuners, going on sale.

The new OLED TV is virtually indistinguishable from the model LG launched last year for $17,000, only for $10K less.

It has essentially the same 55-inch screen and specs, save for repositioned speakers that use a different technology and reconfiguration of the internal electronics that has made manufacturing more cost-efficient.

The initiative follows LG slashing its OLED prices around the world, with the original 55EA9800 in Australia now selling for $A6000.

Rather than emulate this, LG NZ has moved on to its next entry-level OLED generation for a similar price and, despite Samsung selling OLED TVs across the Tasman, remains NZ’s only supplier of this technology.

Cynics could be forgiven for thinking that wiping $10,000 off the original price within only six months is a sure sign of a fire sale.

But LG says it is committed to developing OLED as mainstream option, even if its rivals are betting heavily on UHD TV instead, especially as manufacturing economies improve with more factories and greater efficiencies.

LG NZ plans to offer its 77-inch UHD-ready OLED TV as soon as it can, but don’t expect to see it in stores before the third or fourth quarter because of demand from the US and Asia taking precedence over orders from a territory as tiny as ours.

Despite LG’s faith in OLED’s appeal, the NZ operation isn’t bringing in the 55-inch Gallery model (although it will consider supplying to order).

The Gallery has a traditional flat rather than curved display that’s been designed to resemble a framed painting, complete with powerful built-in speakers concealed within the frame

LG NZ’s reluctance to retail the Gallery probably is partly due to it wanting to retain OLED’s curved screen point of difference in NZ, even though you’ll soon see more UHD TVs with curved screens, starting with Samsung’s 55- and 65-inch models (for which the likes of JB Hi-Fi is already taking pre-orders ahead of Samsung’s official media launch tomorrow in Auckland).

Samsung’s already posted on its website its UHD range for 2014 and looks to be offering three series, from the entry-level U8500 to the top-of-the-range S9, with the curved U9000 (right) sitting in-between.

In the meantime, LG has high hopes for its Hybrid Full HD TVs, which are priced from $1499 for a 42-inch model.

It’s the first TV to be marketed here with a Freeview satellite tuner, complete with built-in memory for onboard recording, and is expected be popular with consumers because of the all-in-one convenience it will offer the 60% of NZ homes with satellite dishes.

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3 Responses to “LG Goes One Better With New ‘Budget’ OLED TV”

  1. I saw this beast LG 65″ Ultra High Definition 3D Smart LED ($5997) yesterday at Noel Leemings. It looked beautiful but I bet the OLED version is even better

  2. Hi Phil. I am interested in accuracy of the above info as regards the current OLED 55″ replacement. The reason being that I am in the process of purchasing the current model LG OLED 55″ TV (at a very good price) and the dealer phoned LG, in my presence, to ascertain when and how much any replacement model may be but LG claimed that they were unaware of any replacement for the current (2013) model. Cheers!

  3. That’s strange, John. I’ll refer your comment to LG. But depending on the price you’re being offered, I’d perhaps hold out for the new model. It’s definitely being rolled out this month. And while exact timing and pricing may change, it should retail for well under the $10K of the first model.

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