Panasonic Comments on Alleged 37-inch OLED TV Production

Jun 25, 2008
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics

Some media sources reported June 24, 2008, that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd are making final adjustments to start volume production of a 37-inch OLED TV in fiscal 2011.

Matsushita responded to our interview and commented on 14:00, June 24, on the news, saying, "We are currently advancing research and development in view of OLED production at IPS Alpha's Himeji Plant for the future, but nothing specific has yet been decided on the commercialization of our OLED TV at the moment."

According to some reports, Matsushita is planning to mass-produce OLED panels on the new lines to be installed and dedicated to OLED panel production at the Mobara and Himeji plants (which is slated to begin operating in January 2010) of its subsidiary IPS Alpha Technology Ltd and assemble them into TVs at its plants both inside and outside Japan.

It has been reported that Matsushita will take six 37-inch OLED panels from a sixth-generation glass substrate at Mobara Plant, while taking 10 panels from an eighth-generation glass substrate at Himeji Plant.

Matsushita feels that the era of the OLED TV is fast approaching. At its management policy meeting in January 2008, President Fumio Otsubo said, "Large OLED TVs will start replacing the existing TVs from about 2015, I expect."

Matsushita made IPS Alpha its subsidiary with a view to maintaining the vertical integration of its TV business in the era of not only LCD TVs but also OLED TVs.

It is easy to imagine that Matsushita, which always advocates the idea that "TVs are the face of home electronics manufacturers," is scrambling to move up the schedule from "2015," the year indicated by President Otsubo.