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OLED TVs forecast to outpace ultra-HD sets by '15: research group

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Shipments of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions are expected to outpace those of ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs worldwide by 2015, a local research institute predicted yesterday.

Global UHD TV shipments will total 500,000 units in 2013 and an estimated 3.2 million units in 2015, compared with OLED TV shipments of 50,000 units this year and 3.24 million units in 2015, according to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan's most prestigious research-and-development organization.

The gap will widen in 2017, when global OLED TV shipments are expected to top 10 million units, well above an estimated 5.95 million UHD TVs.

Jim Chung, deputy general director of the ITRI's Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK), said the dramatic increase in the OLED TV forecast was based on an improving yield rate and more companies getting involved in manufacturing the technology.

Currently, only South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. makes OLED TVs, while at least five companies, including Samsung Electronics Co., Japan's Sharp Corp. and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp., produce UHD TVs, he said.

In addition, UHD TVs are limited to screen sizes of 50 inches or above, while OLED TVs can be manufactured in sizes ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches, giving them a potentially bigger market, Chung said.

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