Man, oh man. When technology changes, it changes fast.

No sooner had Japanese TV maker Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced it will begin commercial production of an 11-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) television in time for Christmas, out came rival Toshiba with a me-too announcement. Unfortunately for Toshiba, its news didn't measure up to Sony's. Consumers will have to wait until 2009 to purchase a tiny Toshiba.

That gives Sony a year's head start on gaining -- rather, creating -- market share for the newest flavor in TV viewing. But don't count Toshiba out. With Sony's screen size maxing out smaller than a sheet of notebook paper, even these super-hi-tech sets will have limited market appeal at first -- as demonstrated by Sony's plan to build only 2,000 of them per month.

Whoever wins the market share race at the set level, though, upstream in the manufacturing chain, Universal Display (NASDAQ:PANL) looks sure to benefit. The company has been working with Sony to develop OLED sets since 2001. It also counts LG.Philips LCD  (NYSE:LPL) a customer, which in turn sells (LCD) panels to Toshiba. I suspect that whoever else wins this race, Universal Display wins, too.

For more OLED updates, read:

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