It’s already been a busy month for developments in next-generation televisions, but LG is on a roll and isn’t showing any signs of letting up. Fresh out of the IFA 2013 show in Berlin, LG has cut the price on its 55-inch curved OLED television (55EA9800) and its existing 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV. It’s also gone a step further to announce that it intends to bring both 4K Ultra HD and OLED into the mainstream in 2014.
Samsung surprised us last month when it announced its 55-inch curved OLED TV (KN55S9C) would price out at $9,000. At the time, LG’s previously released 55EA9800 was already selling for $15,000. When asked if it would be lowering that price in response to Samsung’s announcement, LG stood firm, claiming its curved OLED was ” a premium product with superior performance and styling that commands a premium price. It sells for $14,999.” But it would seem LG has had a change of heart, as Twice magazine reports LG has cut the 55EA9800’s price down to $10,000. That’s still $1,000 more than Samsung’s competing television.
The report also indicates LG has further cut the price on its current 55-inch Ultra HD LED TV (55LA9700 ) by another $500, bringing it down to $4500. The price on that set had already been reduced to $5,000 from its original price of $6,000. LG’s 65-inch Ultra HD set (65LA9700) remains at its recently reduced price of $6500.
Meanwhile, LG issued a formal announcement that it intends to greatly expand its OLED and Ultra HD television roll-out. In a statement, Mr. Kwon, president and CEO of the LG Electronics’ Home Entertainment Company, said, “LG will leverage its strong position and further consolidate its global TV business by speeding up the launch dates of its OLED TVs in a number of core markets. We will also introduce an expanded lineup of ULTRA HD TVs and deliver a comprehensive, differentiated smart TV user experience.”
While corporate statements like that are commonplace at big electronics conventions, LG seems particularly well-prepared to execute its plan. At IFA, LG considerably expanded its OLED and Ultra HD line-up. While Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have all shown off prototype 55-inch OLED televisions with 4K Ultra HD resolution, LG pushed the envelope at IFA, bringing a 77-inch curved Ultra HD OLED to the show. It further expanded its OLED offerings with a 55-inch flat-screen “Gallery” OLED mounted on a canvas with a speaker-loaded picture frame surrounding it.
On the 4K Ultra HD front, LG introduced a slew of less-expensive models with differing bezels and sound solution. LG says these “new premium and affordably priced 55- and 65-inch ULTRA HD TV series are scheduled to launch in 50 countries before the end of 2014.”
Finally, LG hinted at an improved SmartTV platform, claiming it will “provide a user experience (UX) that boasts unparalleled ease-of-use and connectivity.” Digital Trends has spoken to Gracenote about its collaboration with LG in developing a new SmartTV interface and will be reporting in further detail on that topic later this week. Suffice it to say for now that the changes will be considerable. There is no word yet from LG when the new UI is expected to hit the US market, nor do we yet know whether or not LG’s recent acquisition of WebOs will play a role in the UI overhaul.
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