LG Electronics grows in North America on strong OLED demand

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics’ bet on OLED appears to be paying off, with the company’s North American TV market share rising above 20% for the first time in the first half of the year.


The Korea Economic Daily cited data from Omdia that shows LG had a 20.9% share of the North American TV market in terms of value, up from just 15.9% one year ago. It means LG is now ranked number two in the U.S., behind its chief rival Samsung Electronics, which has a 36.3% share of the market. Japan’s Sony is the third most popular TV brand with a 10% share.

Omdia analysts said LG’s strong performance was due to growth of its high-end OLED TVs, which are popular with video enthusiasts and, increasingly, video gamers that want the most realistic graphics experience.

LG shipped 627,000 OLED TVs to North America in the first six months of the year, up three times what it shipped in the same period one year ago. Those shipments amount to almost 80% of its global full year shipments in 2020, analysts said.

OLED TVs use self-illuminating pixels that don’t require a separate light source, which makes it possible to create lightweight, thin and flexible displays that deliver pure black and superior contrast to regular LCD TVs.

The technology has proven to be very profitable for LG, as the average sale price of an OLED TV in the U.S. came to $1,950 in the first half of the year. That’s double the average price of an LCD TV. Yet LG has also managed to ramp up production at its new TV factory in Guangzhou, China, while reducing production costs.

In the second quarter of this year, OLED TVs accounted for 13.1% of the North American market in terms of value, up from just 6% in the same quarter one year ago, Omdia said. It added that the company likely benefited from the strong praise its high-end TVs have received, noting that seven LG products were listed in the top ten OLED TVs ranked by Consumer Reports. Sony had three TVs in the list.

Analysts say LG Electronics is expected to enjoy more growth in the next few years. Omdia has forecast total global OLED TV shipments of 6.1 million units in 2021, up 70% from the 3.65 million units shipped last year. Experts say demand for medium and small-size OLED TVs will grow at an even faster clip, as consumers are becoming more interested in smaller displays for gaming or as a second TV in a bedroom or kitchen.

LG is planning to cater to that demand with the launch of its first ever 42-inch OLED TVs next year. At present its smallest OLED TV is just 48-inches.