Begun, the curved OLED TV price war has.
Today Samsung announced that its first 55-inch curved OLED TV, model KN55S9C, is shipping now to specialty dealers in the U.S. for $8,999.
That price undercuts arch-nemesis LG, whose own 55-inch curved OLED TV is on sale now for $14,999 exclusively at Best Buy's Magnolia stores.
Samsung's price also goes against word CNET originally received from specialty retailer Value Electronics that the new Samsung OLED TV would sell for $15,000.
The new price is also significantly lower than the $13,000 originally charged for the Korean version, although as reported by the Korea Times via Engadget, that price was reduced to roughly the same level on August 11.
"Samsung's price cut came as a result of improved manufacturing yield, and [Korean] customers that already purchased one will be refunded the difference," said the report.
Yield refers to the number of usable panels that successfully make it through the manufacturing process. While no longer an issue with small-screen OLED displays, like the ones used in most Samsung smartphones, poor yield has long been the main holdup preventing large-screen OLED TVs from making their way to the mass market.
Although $8,999 is still solidly in extreme luxury territory for a 55-inch TV, it's low enough that eager U.S. customers who've already paid $6,000 more for LG's OLED might feel a sense of chagrin. There's no word yet whether that company will drop its price as well.
The OLED TVs of both Samsung and LG outdo traditional LED LCD and plasma with improved picture quality, razor-thin designs, and curved screens said to provide a more immersive viewing experience. Neither company is selling a non-curved OLED TV in the U.S.
For more details, check out our First Take of the Samsung KN55S9C.