Just because Samsung will be launching these devices to Australians first doesn't mean they'll be doing so without competition. LG has been entertaining connected devices since 2002 with its internet fridge, and continues to do so with its new Thinq range.
LG's range features a fridge that helps you diet, and oven that lets you peak at your meal via your smartphone and a washing machine that takes time-of-use-pricing into consideration. However, Australia won't be getting first dibs on these devices which are destined for the USA and Korea first. "LG will be bringing out more appliances with additional smart technology over time; however, many of the new features are in their infancy," says the corporate marketing manager at LG Electronics Australia, Fiona Irving. "We will be focused on launching in other markets such as Korea and the USA prior to any introduction in Australia."
Irving recognises Australians are tech savvy and open to intelligent appliances, but believes the technology has to don an attractive price point. When they launched their internet fridge, it was handicapped by a $17,000 price tag at a time characterised by low internet penetration.
Samsung believes the market has changed and although they haven't announced local pricing yet, their WiFi enabled fridge sells for $3,699 in the US. Mike Lilly, the head of home appliances at Samsung Electronics Australia said:
"Samsung has assessed the consumer demand for this style of product and we believe that the time is right now, both in terms of technology and consumer desire - but also the price point."