Samsung unveils US$8999 curved OLED TV

Samsung has announced that its first 55-inch curved OLED TV, model KN55S9C, is shipping now to speciality dealers in the US for US$8999.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

That price undercuts its arch-nemesis LG, whose own 55-inch curved OLED TV is on sale now for US$14,999 exclusively at Best Buy in the US.

Samsung's price also goes against word that CNET originally received from speciality retailer Value Electronics that the new Samsung OLED TV would sell for US$15,000.

The new price is significantly lower than the US$13,000 originally charged for the Korean version, although as reported by the Korea Times via Engadget, that price was reduced to roughly the same level on 11 August.

"Samsung's price cut came as a result of improved manufacturing yield, and [Korean] customers that already purchased one will be refunded the difference," said the report.

Yield refers to the number of usable panels that successfully make it through the manufacturing process. While it's no longer an issue with small-screen OLED displays, like the ones used in most Samsung smartphones, poor yield has long been the main hold-up preventing large-screen OLED TVs from making their way to the mass market.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Although US$8999 is still solidly in extreme luxury territory for a 55-inch TV, it's low enough that eager US customers who've already paid US$6000 more for LG's OLED might feel a sense of chagrin. There's no word yet on whether that company will drop its price as well.

The OLED TVs of both Samsung and LG outdo traditional LED LCD and plasma with improved picture quality, razor-thin designs and curved screens said to provide a more immersive viewing experience. Neither company appears to have plans to sell a non-curved OLED TV in the US.

In Australia, we're awaiting comment from Samsung about the possibility of the TV being sold locally. LG's curved OLED was launched earlier this year, and is expected in Australian retailers by the end of 2013, although pricing is currently unknown.


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