The President of LG Electronics’ home entertainment business stated that LG’s OLED TV  models  will  make  up  20 percent  of  combined  LG  TV  sales  in  2018,  which  is  up  from 15 percent in 2017. Looking at LGE’s data and making assumptions of 2018 sales: 

•  2017 Home Entertainment Division revenue – 18.58 Won

•  2017 - 15 percent of division revenue to OLED TV = 2.787 Won 

•  Assume – All division revenue is TV (not quite but close) 

•  Assume  –  5 percent  increase  in  overall  Home  Entertainment  division  revenue  for 2018 

•  2018 Home Entertainment Division revenue = 19.509 won 

•  20 percent  of  Home  Entertainment  Division  revenue  to  OLED  TV  =  3.902 won  or 40 percent increase 

•  Expected unit volume increase = 55 percent  

•  Expected OLED TV production capacity increase in m2 = 37.9 percent (LG Display)

Assuming  a  5 percent  increase  in  total  division  revenue,  the  OLED  TV  revenue  at  LG Electronics would show a 40 percent increase.  Of course, as that 5 percent divisional increment changes,  the  incremental  improvement  in  OLED  TV  sales  revenue  will  also  change, ranging  from  34.7 percent  for  a  1 percent  division  revenue  improvement  to  46.7 percent  for  a  10 percent division revenue improvement, so the statement that OLED TV revenue will be 20 percent of total combined TV sales remains a moving target given that the company did not guide  Home  Entertainment  divisional  sales  for  2018,  but  at  least  it  gives  some indication of LGE’s ‘intent’ to continue to grow its OLED TV business each year. LGE revealed pricing details for several of its 2018 OLED TVs, including the C8, E8 and W8.  The  company  has  yet  to  announce  pricing  for  the  most  affordable  B8  OLED series but considering that it will lack the Alpha9 processor of the other models C8 is probably the more interesting entry point. The 55, 65, and 77-inch C8 OLED TVs will carry  suggested  retail  prices  of  USD 3000, USD 4000,  and  USD 10000  in  the  US.  The  77-inch although extremely expensive is nevertheless getting cheaper. Last year, a 77-inch LG OLED TV started at USD 17000.  The 55 and 65-inch E8 OLED TVs will cost USD 3500, and  USD 4500,  which  are  down  USD 1000  and  USD 1500  compared  to  last  year’s  E  range models. The 77-inch W8 “wallpaper” OLED will cost USD 15000. LG will also release a 65-inch W8 but has yet to comment on the price. We will update the table below as soon as we receive more information. LG’s 2018 OLED models will start shipping in March/April.

LG Electronics is hoping to lead the era of artificial intelligence-powered TVs with its new lineup of household sets powered by its AI platform ThinQ, the company’s home entertainment chief said Monday. At a launching event showcasing LG’s premium TV lineup for this year at LG’s R&D center in southern Seoul, Brian Kwon, president of LG’s Home Entertainment Co., told reporters, “In addition to our TVs’ perfect black and perfect visual quality, this will be a year for us to take the next step with artificial intelligence.” This year’s TV products from LG feature the company’s exclusive ThinQ artificial intelligence technology, which allows users to not only search for programs and control the TV through voice activation but also connect to other devices such as smartphones and game consoles through voice commands. 

Kwon, LGE’s TV Division Head, said that by 2021, global demand for OLED TVs could hit up to 10 million sets, roughly 10 percent of the worldwide TV market. Since the WW market is ~200m, we question this calculation. LG will focus on 13 countries including Korea, the US, Australia and 10 Europe countries, which currently make up nearly 90 percent of revenue for LG’s OLED TVs. At present, TVs’ artificial intelligence capabilities may seem to overlap with the functions of AI speakers that allow users to control multiple devices through voice commands. However, Kwon said that there is a fundamental difference between the way consumers embrace artificial intelligence through speakers and TVs. “Speakers are fundamentally personal devices, like smartphones, while TVs are shared devices among family members,” Kwon said, playing down the possibility that the two markets would eat into each other’s demand. He said that he saw AI speakers as a “bridge product” for consumers who are not ready to switch over completely to new home appliances and electronics with built-in artificial intelligence systems. “In the long run, I believe that artificial intelligence-powered TVs will be able to take over (the role of AI speakers today),” he added.  

The current market share and history for TVs by brand is shown in the next table.   – OLED Musings