Samsung has made Transparent OLED displays since 2008. And while they haven’t always had the same broad appeal as the company’s new flagship SUHD TVs, they were an interesting take on the future of display technology.
I say "were" there because, as of today, Samsung is killing off its Transparent OLED Display Panel, which is the base panel used in all TOLED products available on the market.
The reasoning provided to TechRadar by an external source was that "the global quantity is not high enough for Samsung to justify the investment [in Transparent OLED]."
In effect, the tech industry may have really liked the idea of transparent TVs, but no one was actually buying one.
Samsung closing up shop on Transparent OLED is disappointing, but not completely unexpected. But while Samsung is leaving, LG has plans to break into it next year. The Korean display manufacturer showed off a few concept pieces at CES 2016, and is expected to return to Las Vegas next year with a commercially available edition of the technology.
Whether Samsung’s decision to break ties with Transparent OLED will affect LG remains to be seen, but there’s at least a small chance that Samsung’s departure could kill TOLED before it ever takes off.
At least we still have great OLED TVs like the LG OLED55C6P, right?