Samsung has pipped rival LG to the post, announcing that its $10,999 55-inch curved OLED TV would be the first of its kind to be sold in Australia — with the first units available for purchase today in Samsung’s Experience Store in Sydney.
The Samsung 55S9C is an OLED TV, using organic pixels that produce their own light rather than relying on a fluorescent or LED back-light in the way that LED TVs do. OLED is much more similar to plasma, with each sub-pixel able to vary the amount of light it emits.
Because of this, the TV is able to produce a contrast ratio far higher than any LED TV of a comparable size — with theoretically infinite contrast between a ‘perfect’ black, where the TV is effectively switched off, and a ‘perfect’ white, where the OLED pixel is emitting maximum light.
Respected US group Consumer Reports has rated Samsung's OLED TV very highly in its benchmarks.
Samsung is selling its debut OLED TV as of today, with any potential customers able to walk into the company’s Sydney Experience Store on George St and place an order at lunchtime. The $10,999 price tag of the television necessarily restricts it to only the most cashed-up customers, but the company is forecasting significant demand that reflects the TV's unique (for now) technology.
The TV has been available in the US since mid-August, where it can be purchased for US$8,999. Australian pricing, given the current exchange rate, is nearly at parity to the larger North American market.
Korean rival LG, which holds around 20 per cent of TV market share as opposed to Samsung’s leading 40 per cent, also announced this morning that its curved OLED TV would be available in Australia, but only gave a September time-frame and did not disclose prices.
Both TVs also gave out more details on their smaller-screen Ultra HD TVs, with both companies set to imminently release 55- and 65-inch sizes. Samsung does not yet have a Ultra HD TV available in Australia, while LG’s 84-inch 84LM9600 has been available since late 2012 after a difficult launch period.