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Samsung to sell world first 55-inch OLED TV

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Kim Hyun-suk, head of Samsung's TV business, right, and a model pose with a 55-inch Samsung OLED TV at the launch.

Kim Hyun-suk, head of Samsung's TV business, right, and a model pose with a 55-inch Samsung OLED TV at the launch.

Samsung Electronics will be the first TV maker to start selling a 55-inch TV featuring the same paper thin and super sharp screen technology seen on the latest mobile phones.

The world's top TV maker will start selling the 55-inch (140 cm) model, which features organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology, in Korea in the second half of the year, said Kim Hyun-Suk, the head of Samsung's TV unit.

The ultra-thin television produces brighter and more vivid images than flat-screen panels, Samsung said in a statement after showing off the TV at it headquarters at a news briefing.

OLED, now used in mobile devices such as smartphones, is seen as a next-generation technology after the current LCD or light emitting diode (LED) displays.

"This... will be the premium of the premium TVs," Kim told reporters.

It will cost at least $US9450 in South Korea, more than double the price of current high-end sets.

The model will go on sale in the United States and Europe after its domestic debut, Kim said without elaborating on dates. Australian availability is as yet unclear.

Samsung is "carefully studying" the timing of the launch ahead of this summer's London Olympics, Kim said. TV sales generally boom ahead of major sporting events.

But he said it would take two or three years for OLED TVs to become mainstream.

The company will increase production of various types of TV with 55-inch screens or larger in a bid to dominate the premium market, Samsung said.

Research firm NPD DisplaySearch this week forecast global TV shipments this year will remain flat amid slowing demand from Europe and Japan.

It said global manufacturers are rolling out more TVs with large screens to drive up growth, lifting the average size to almost 35 inches in 2012 from less than 30 inches four years ago.

AFP