Just when everyone thought OLED screens would constitute the third of innovation for flat panel TVs (following LED backlit TVs and 3D capability), Toshiba just made a surprise decision. According to Japanese business daily The Nikkei, Toshiba has entirely given up previous plans to mass-produce OLED screens.
Toshiba’s subsidiary, Toshiba Mobile Display Corp., together with Panasonic, has invested $190 million in 2008 to set up an OLED production line at a factory in Ishikawa prefecture. The plan was to produce 1.5 million OLED screens for smartphones per year. But that won’t happen (on the picture, you can see a bigger OLED Toshiba showed two years ago).
Toshiba says its decision to scrap OLED was triggered by a surge in demand for LCD this year. Apparently, another important factor was the blow the recent financial crisis dealt to the earnings of the company.
All staff involved in the production and R&D of OLED will be transferred to the LCD panel division. The company will now focus on doing OLED-related R&D for lighting equipment only.