January 2, 2013 / 12:10 AM / 5 years ago

CORRECTED-LG Elec starts taking pre-orders for OLED TVs for Feb delivery

(Corrects price to 11 million won from 1.1 million won in 7th paragraph)

SEOUL, Jan 2 (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc started taking orders on Wednesday for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions, hoping to take the initiative over its rival Samsung in the next-generation technology.

LG and Samsung showcased 55-inch (140 cm) OLED TVs a year ago but, priced five times higher than liquid-crystal display (LCD) equivalents, they have yet to reach store shelves.

The technology is considered the future of consumer electronics displays and promises to change the way people use TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones.

OLED is more energy efficient and offers higher contrast images than LCD. It is so thin that future mobile devices will be unbreakable and will be able to be folded or rolled like paper.

LG, the world’s No.2 TV manufacturer, said it would start delivery of the new TVs from early February, with plans to display them at 1,400 retail outlets in South Korea.

They would be launched in the U.S., Europe and other Asian markets during the first quarter of 2013.

The 55-inch model would sell for 11 million won ($10,300)- nearly four times that of LG’s LED-backlit LCD model and around five times that of more common LCD versions.

OLED displays are already used on Samsung’s popular Galaxy S and Note smartphones.

But OLED panel makers such as LG Display and Samsung Display have yet to address manufacturing challenges to lower costs to compete against LCD panels. ($1 = 1070.5750 Korean won) (Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates and Paul Tait)

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