Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are solid-state devices composed of thin films of organic molecules that create light with the application of electricity. OLEDs are a promising technology for flat panel displays. Compared to standard LCDs (including those with LED backlighting), OLED displays offer better contrast ratios (no trouble producing ‘true’ black’), require no backlighting at all, permit wider viewing angles, and don’t suffer from color shift. In short OLEDs can provide brighter, crisper displays on electronic devices and use less power than liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used today. In addition OLED diplays can be transparent, flexible, wearable, and theoretically printed by an inkjet printer (maybe not everything at the same time).
To display manufacturers, this new panel technology is expected to be the next big thing (in addition to 3D). Display manufacturers have been talking about OLED televisions and monitors as “a couple years away” for at least the last half-decade.
Unfortunately, it seems that everything hasn’t worked out too well for OLED. Sony Kills Next-Gen 11″ Display; Manufacturers Hedge on OLED TVs article tells that Sony announced it would halt sales of its 11″ XEL-1 OLED in Japan, where the panel first debuted. Sony’s decision to kill the unit in its home market and reduce the rate at which it’s investing in future OLED TV development has been perceived in some corners as a judgment on the long-term feasibility of OLED technology. In the wake of Sony’s announcement, far too many online pundits have rushed to declare OLED panels dead, dying, moribund, or otherwise abandoned.
I think this case does not yer prove that. Sony OLED case was just proven that people currently don’t want to spend kilobucks on technology that’s not even ready from prime time because LCD LED and Plasma TVs are “good enough” for everyone. Sony XEL-1 is a sub-HD resolution small 11 inch (28 cm) television that cost thousands of dollars and looked pretty ugly, no wonder that it failed. If you are into electronics and want to see what electronics is inside that display, take a look at inside XEL-1 OLED TV display picture.
After this incident we’ll probably see development focus shift at least in short term from large panel sizes to smaller ones, particularly since the smartphone/handheld OLED market. OLED technology will evolve there and maybe some day it will be more ready for the prime time in larger displays. After smartphones the next step would be netbooks/notebook, then laptops and then computer monitors.