Panasonic to sell 40-inch OLED TVs by 2011

Samsung’s 31-inch OLED TV prototype

According to reports in Japanese newspapers today, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) has set internal directives to start offering OLED TVs by 2011. Currently, Panasonic is selling both LCD and Plasma displays.

The company intends to use its R&D center in Kyoto as a base for a manufacturing plant solely for OLED panels. By next spring, the first prototype OLED TVs with a screen size of around 20 inches are expected to be produced there. Mass production of OLED TVs with a screen size of 40 inches and more is scheduled for 2011 in a factory in near Kobe in central Japan.

Panasonic seems to be serious. They said 200 engineers will be assigned exclusively for the development of  the next-generation displays. The company is ready to invest $930 million into the project.

Now it’s clear why Panasonic isn’t part of the consortium of 11 Japanese organizations willing to develop large OLED TVs by 2018.