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Chinese flat screen makers getting attention

LG and Samsung quaking with fear

Chinese flat screen makers are starting to get fearful looks from big names such as LG Display and Samsung as they create UHD displays. While LG and Samsung have been flat out trying to create next-generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs, Chinese outfits have been selling a type of display that are sharper than the standard LCD and cheaper than OLED.

Ultra high-definition (UHD) displays could be a major thorn in the side of OLED expansion. Until last year, the UHD market had been almost non-existent, with just 33,000 sets sold in the 200 million-unit LCD TV market. Since then, shipments have soared around 20-fold, thanks to China. The Chinese want brighter and sharper images but can't afford OLED screens made by LG and Samsung Display.

According to some analysts there is a real risk that UHD may become mainstream and the long-awaited cheaper OLEDs arrive too late to displace it. OLED's long-term potential is huge but it is coming into the market very slowly and at a high price tag. In China, 55-inch UHD models sell for around $1,800. By contrast, an OLED TV of similar dimensions sold by Samsung Electronics costs around $10,000.

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