Samsung launches curved OLED TV in U.S.

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest flat TV maker, rolled out its first 55-inch curved OLED TV with full HD capabilities in the U.S. with a price tag of US$8,999.

Samsung Electronics follows the footsteps of its local rival LG Electronics Inc., which started receiving orders in April for the world's first-ever curved OLED TVs.

In June, Samsung introduced the TV set on its home turf, joining the race for next-generation TV market.

Consumers in the U.S. can order the 55-inch curved display TV set with full HD, full screen and stereo sound capabilities at retail outlets across their country, Samsung said.

The super-thin curved display is designed to help eliminate problems associated with the traditional flat screen displays -- images are stretched to match the screen dimension and may become distorted in the process.

The curved display also provides a more life-like experience when watching video contents such as movies and shows.

The TV set is the first of its kind to feature the so-called MultiView capabilities, which allow viewers to watch two different programs in Full HD with stereo sound on the same screen at the same time, according to Samsung.

Global TV makers have been ramping up efforts to produce OLED TVs, which enable slimmer designs and more vivid images compared with their counterparts with liquid crystal displays that require a backlight.

The global market for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs is forecast to grow more than 200 times over the next five years, earlier data showed.

Worldwide shipments of OLED panels are expected to hit 26.96 million units by 2018, increasing more than 200-fold from 130,000 units forecast for this year, according to the data by NPD DisplaySearch. The new-generation display panel shipments are projected to reach $10.02 billion by 2018, accounting for 18 percent of the overall market.

Meanwhile, Samsung said earlier in the day that it plans to lower the prices of its Ultra HD TVs, which were rolled out in the country this past May.

In June of this year, Samsung launched its 65-inch and 55-inch Ultra HD TVs for 8.9 million won (US$7,940) and 6.4 million won, respectively. In January, it unveiled its 85-inch Ultra HD TV with a price tag of 40 million won.

Earlier this month, Samsung also cut the price of its 55-inch curved OLED TV to 9.9 million won from 15 million won in a bid to help boost its sales.

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