SEOUL -- LG Electronics will unveil its premium window-like OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that will each bear a price tag of over $10,000, sending a message to its rivals that the South Korean company is asserting its technological advantage in the high-end TV market with the slimmest model, sources said.
The new TVs will have panels that use organic light-emitting diodes and are so light and thin that they can be fitted on walls like windows, or hung like pictures, according to industry sources familiar with the project. The premium TV, which may come in a few sizes starting from 50-plus inches, could be available in the market as early as the first quarter of 2017.
"LG plans to introduce its new high-quality TV, which is very light and thin at the CES. It can be hung on the wall like a window or a picture," an industry source, asking not to be named, told Nikkei Asian Review. "The company completed its preparations for the production. The TVs will be released in the market a few weeks after the CES."
The CES, one of the largest consumer electronics exhibitions in the world, will be held from Jan. 5 to 8.
Another source said that OLED panels used in the new model are slimmer than the 2.5mm ultra-slim panel applied in LG's Signature OLED TV. The model will be the slimmest on the market, but he did not reveal how thin they are. The OLED panels will be supplied by its affiliate LG Display.
Sources said that LG Electronics was betting everything on the TV to keep its leading position in the premium OLED television market. OLED sets now account for about 1% of global television sales in value terms, with LG Electronics controlling most of that meager share.
Earlier last month, Sony announced that it would put OLED TVs on shelves worldwide by summer 2017. The Japanese electronics and media giant said it would source panels from LG Display and draw on its own proprietary technology for image processing.
Panasonic put a 65-inch OLED model on sale in Europe in 2015 and now plans to bring the sets to Japan and Southeast Asia as early as April. Toshiba is scrambling to develop OLED sets of its own. Samsung Electronics, meanwhile, has halted the introduction of new OLED offerings after selling the sets for a time.
LG Display is the frontrunner in the OLED TV panels. The company holds a near monopoly in the market, giving its Japanese rival Sony little choice but to source key components from the display affiliate of LG group.
But, more panel-makers are now challenging the market leader. Japan's JOLED, whose stakeholders include Sony, Panasonic and Japan Display, is developing panels of the size used in televisions. China's BOE Technology Group is working on similar offerings.
LG declined to comment on the new TV. Instead, the company said that it would show its smart-home appliances with deep-learning technology at the CES. LG said that the artificial intelligence technology would allow robot cleaners and refrigerators to better understand their users by gathering and studying customers' lifestyle patterns over time.
For instance, LG's deep-learning refrigerator automatically fills the ice tray at a time of the day when cold drinks are most in demand by predicting a family's behavior based on past activities.
"Deep-learning technology is the next phase in the evolution of smart appliances, and as an industry leader, we have the responsibility of being an early-mover," said Song Dae-hyun, head of LG's home appliance department.
LG said that it would apply the technology to its smartphones and other products as the industry for the internet of things grew.