LG has announced it is cutting the price on its 55EA9800 curved OLED television to $7,999. The company is also offering an instant $1000 rebate to those who are “ready to buy now,” bringing the total price to $6,999. LG did not indicate when or if the rebate is set to expire.
At CES 2014, LG made it clear that it intended to lead the way in bringing OLED TVs to the US. The company scaled up development, bringing five new OLED models to the show, and pointed to significantly ramped-up production, announcing several new OLED manufacturing plants around the world, with one in Mexico aimed at producing the next-gen TVs specifically for the US market.
When LG first debuted the 55-inch EA9800 in July 2013, the television was priced at a lofty $14,999. When its rival, Samsung, introduced its competing KN55S9C model at just under $9,000, LG stuck to its guns, saying, “LG’s curved OLED TV, which has been on sale in the United States since July 22, is a premium product with superior performance and styling that commands a premium price. It sells for $14,999.”
LG says the 55EA9800 will be available through the first half of this year, indicating that we can expect to see some of its new models available at that time. The company’s new curved, 55-inch EB9600 is expected to be the entry level model, and it will likely come in under $7,000 when it begins shipping in the US.
OLED panels, which offer unprecedented picture quality thanks to their near-perfect black levels, superior brightness, and outstanding color, have historically been difficult to produce in large quantities, keeping supplies limited and prices high. LG’s moves toward bringing OLED into the US market are encouraging, though it remains to be seen if its production methods can support large-scale shipments. Either way, with prices still firmly in the above-$5000 category, adoption will likely remain slow. But with plasma technology on its way out, it’s exciting to see its replacement making some significant strides toward widespread availability.