LG says it will sell far fewer OLED TVs this year, citing supply constraints

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics has said it expects to ship fewer OLED TVs this year than it managed to do in 2022, according to a statement first reported by South Korean publication The Elec. According to the company, it has struggled with an “inadequate supply” of OLED panels from its sister company LG Display.

Although they operate under the same parent group, LG Electronics and LG Display are separate companies, and sometimes they’re business strategies and planning don’t always align. That appears to be the case this year, as LG Display will reportedly deliver 27% fewer OLED panels to LG Electronics than it did last year.

LG Display is the world’s only supplier of White OLED TV displays, though its rival Samsung Display offers an alternative technology, known as QD-OLED, which is used by Samsung Electronics and Sony.

Besides the limited supply of panels, LG Electronics blamed the miserable economy this year as another reason for it expecting to sell fewer OLED TVs. With all of the inflation and wars in the world, less people have the money to invest in a new TV, and that has shown in LG Electronics’ financial numbers.

However, LG Electronics did say it expects things to improve in 2024, forecasting “mid-10% growth” in consumer demand for OLED TVs.

The struggles of TV makers may be good news for consumers, though. Because the likes of LG Electronics haven't shipped as may televisions as they expected to, they may well be keen to get rid of this year’s stock as they prepare to launch a new series of TV models for 2024, so consumers may well be able to find some good discounts and promotions in the weeks before the Christmas holidays.

It’s likely that it’s not just the economy that is holding back OLED TV sales. It should be remembered that the COVID-19 pandemic years saw an explosion of TVs being sold as consumers – many of whom were bored being stuck at home – invested in new gadgets to keep themselves occupied. With so many people having fairly new TVs, there’s little inclination to spend money on the latest model. Most people will keep their TV for a good few years before upgrading it. As a result, sales of consumer gadgets (not only TVs but also PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets) have declined.

However, with 2024 about to roll around, it means four years will have passed since the Covid boom, meaning that some people may well start to think about upgrading their TVs to see what the new advances in display technology can do for them, hence LG Electronics is more optimistic about next year.