Samsung's advanced TVs go missing en route to Berlin

SEOUL/BERLIN Tue Sep 4, 2012 8:11am EDT

Samsung Electronics's world's first single-sheet, 40-inch active matrix OLED for emissive flat panel TV applications. REUTERS/Samsung Electronics/Handout

Samsung Electronics's world's first single-sheet, 40-inch active matrix OLED for emissive flat panel TV applications.

Credit: Reuters/Samsung Electronics/Handout

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SEOUL/BERLIN (Reuters) - Two of Samsung Electronics' advanced OLED television sets have gone missing while on their way to the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, the company said on Tuesday.

The organic-light-emitting diodes (OLED) TVs disappeared between August 21 and 28, a company spokesman said, adding there was no threat to its presence at the show as there were more such sets at Samsung's booth in Berlin.

An official complaint has been lodged with local police, a spokesman confirmed, but he added they didn't know where the TVs went missing or even if it was in Germany.

Samsung declined to comment on whether it believed the disappearance could be a case of industrial espionage, or on potential financial damages it could suffer from the loss of the technology.

Media reports had said it may have been a theft aimed at stealing the advanced TV technology, whose loss could cost the firm billions of dollars.

OLED systems are widely touted successors to liquid crystal displays (LCDs). They are used in smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy Note because the displays are lighter, thinner and tougher than alternatives.

However, in larger applications such as TVs, they are currently too expensive for mass-market sale. At a rumored price tag of $10,000, the 55-inch models from Samsung and LG would be 10 times the price of an equivalent LCD TV.

(Reporting by Chris Cottrell in Berlin, Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul and Harro ten Wolde in Frankfurt; Editing by David Holmes)

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