Sony said Tuesday it would stop selling in Japan an ultra-thin television using organic materials because of sluggish demand, in a setback to its efforts to regain a reputation for innovation.
The Japanese giant will halt domestic shipments of organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs by the end of March, said company spokeswoman Ryoko Takagi.
Sony was the first company in the world to commercially launch a television using the technology in 2007.
By sandwiching a very thin layer of organic material between two plates, the television uses less power and offers brighter images and wider viewing angles than liquid crystal display panels, according to the company.
But with a price tag of about 200,000 yen (2,200 dollars), the OLED TV received a lukewarm reaction from consumers.
"Demand for the television sets has subsided in Japan in the first two years since its launch," Takagi said.
Sony had been pinning hope on the OLED televisions to regain some of its reputation for cutting-edge technology, after being caught off guard in recent years by innovative new products such as Apple's iPod and Nintendo's Wii.
The decision to end domestic sales was also influenced by a new law requiring TVs sold in Japan to have functions limiting access to harmful Internet sites, Sony said. The OLED model does not have the system.
The company will continue production of the model in Japan for the US, European and other overseas markets, while going ahead with its research and development into the technology, the spokeswoman said.
The next-generation television has a screen just three millimetres (0.12 inches) thick, made possible because the organic display is self-luminescent and does not require a backlight.
Sony now has high hopes for 3D televisions.
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