QD-Enhanced LCDs Drop in Sales in Q2

The Beovision Eclipse is one of a number of new OLED TVs at the IFA show this weekIHS data on the sales of QD enhanced LCDs (which Samsung calls QLED) are down 48% in Q2 from 671,000 in Q1 to 351,000, while OLED TVs increased from 212,000 to 282,000, according to a report from Business Korea.

Analyst Comment

Some have compared the current drop in the QLED sales to optimistic forecasts previously issued, for example, DSCC said in a white paper that can be downloaded here (registration required) and sponsored by Nanosys, that sales would reach 9 million this year and if these figures are accurate, that would be a tough target. (We have reached out to IHS to check the accuracy of the report, but hadn’t got confirmation as we published).

We had heard that Samsung had a tough Q2 with its QLED sets. I think Samsung has made two errors. First, to get the very slim profile that it knows are an attractive feature for TV buyers, it stayed with edge lighting even for high end sets and that has meant a halo effect that has disappointed pretty well all reviewers when compared to OLED. Secondly, as another analyst said to me, “Samsung bet that it could get the same price as OLED and kept its prices high”. The reality seems to be that head to head at the same price, it is losing. The good news for Samsung is that I’m sure there is room for some price cutting, while it would be crazy for LG to follow as it has limited capacity that it can sell at today’s prices. Of course, if the demand for OLED dropped away when QLED came down, it might need to react to keep ‘momentum’, but my view is that this is unlikely.

The shame is that the QLED TVs are among the best LCD TVs ever made and they have real advantages in peak brightness and colour volume (although I would still buy an OLED!) (BR)

After we went to press, I got confirmation that these numbers are the correct ones. (BR)