IFA is an OLED Fest!

We’ve been through a couple of days of press events and a day and a half of the show and there’s a clear pattern. At every TV press event, except those by Samsung and (of course) Sharp, the focus was on new OLED TVs. In some cases, such as Sony and Panasonic, the news was about extensions of the existing OLED ranges to include 77″, while others including Loewe, B&O, TCL, Metz and Grundig also announced the addition of OLED-based sets. Loewe made a very clear statement – all 55″ and above sets that it is introducing now will be based on OLED, with only smaller sizes (not available in OLED) being supplied using LCD.

OLED also had a strong showing in smartphones as LG launched its good looking V30 smartphone which highlights the wide OLED display and with the first public showing of the excellent Samsung Note 8 smartphone in Europe. Samsung also had new wearables at its huge Tempodrom event and Garmin and others also showed new wearables aimed at sport, fitness and wellness.

We have already seen some interesting new monitors with Philips showing a number of new models including a 49″ curved monitor in the 32:9 format that Samsung is promoting (well, it’s the top half of a 55″ curved LCD) and the company also had an 8K display. Sharp also brought into public the prototype 8K display that it showed privately last year, but it’s still just a concept, while the Philips unit is intended for shipment. (no doubt TPV which runs the Philips monitor brand in Europe developed the Dell 8K monitor). Also interesting was a VA LCD-based monitor from LG. Yes, LG with a VA panel – we think that’s a first!

Acer, Dell and others showed new headsets based on the Microsoft VR platform and Acer also privately showed a 5K resolution development of the Starbreeze headset that it showed last year. Microsoft also announced dates for its Windows 10 Creator edition (which will be released on October 17th). There were also some interesting PC developments with Lenovo showing a Yoga that has Thunderbolt 3 port that can connect to an external GPU box with an Nvidia GPU supporting three 4K displays. That means a thin and light portable unit with serious power for gaming or video processing ‘back at base’ – an attractive concept.

Finally (for this week), not really a display topic, but voice control (mainly based on Amazon’s Alexa, but with Google Home in support) was everywhere. We were also impressed with a demonstration of Baidu’s voice control (assuming that it really was a live demo and not a fake!)

Analyst Comment

We’ll have our full report available for you as soon as we can get it done!