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Electronics

LG flexes its display tech with $100,000 rollable TV on sale this month

South Korean brand looks to set itself apart from low-cost LCD makers

LG Electronics' rollable OLED TV likely will be limited to a niche market based on its high sticker price. (Photo by Kotaro Hosokawa)

SEOUL -- South Korea's LG Electronics brings to market this month an OLED television with a screen that can roll up like a projector screen and fit into its rectangular base.

The Signature OLED R will be sold first in South Korea for a suggested price of around $100,000.

Demand for the new model is expected to be limited given its cost, but LG sees it as a showcase for its display technology at a time TVs are becoming increasingly commoditized.

The big-screen TV is described as the first of its kind to adopt a rollable organic light-emitting diode panel. 

The company unveiled the Signature OLED R in January 2019 at the CES electronics expo in the U.S. But the model needed to overcome such problems as low durability, which postponed the release date for about a year.

The rollable television likely will come in the same 65-inch model that has been shown in expos. LG exploited the foldable properties of OLED screens to develop the product. The TV is intended to carve a new market using features unavailable in the liquid crystal display panels being churned out by Chinese manufacturers.

Yet there appears to be little mass market appeal for a TV that can be rolled up for storage, priced at nearly six figures in dollar terms.

All the while, the price of LCD panels for televisions continues to drop as Chinese manufacturers invest in expanding production capacity. Most industry watchers think LCD televisions will stay in the mainstream for the time being.

Japanese electronics makers have experimented with 3D TVs and other innovations, though they have failed to make deep inroads among consumers.

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