The battle between the two Korean consumer electronics giants, Samsung and LG, took a new turn yesterday after LG launched a new range of Smart TVs and confirmed they are set to take Samsung on in both the tablet and smartphone markets.
Speaking at the launch of their new 2012 TV range which includes a high end Cinema 3D TV that comes with a “magic” voice activated remote, dual play 3D gaming capability and display screens that are only 4mm thick, Michael Doyle the Director of Sales at LG Electronics Australia, said the company is now working with communication carriers including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to launch smartphones and tablets that can communicate with their new TV range.
“Our re-entry into the communication market is timely as we now have the products that carriers and retailers tell us that they want” he said.
Recently LG Australia appointed Deok Hyeon Moon, as the company’s new Managing Director.
In recent day senior global communication executives from LG met with Australian carriers to discuss their commitment to the Australian market. The company has also hired Ben Glimmerveen to head up the Companies expanded mobile communication division.
Doyle said that LG has some big plans for the local subsidiary this year with the Company set to launch new OLED TVs in the second half of 2012. He claimed that the London Olympics and the fact that Channel Nine is set to deliver 3D coverage will help drive sales of the new LG TV range.
“The new LG TV range opens up a lot of opportunity for consumers and connection with a smartphone or tablet is just one of the added benefits. We have superior 3D to our competitors and we have also given users the option of choosing which applications they want on their TV screen. We are delivering excellent local applications such as Telstra Big Pond Movies, AFL and NRL and a means by which users can pick which apps they use most, display them on their favourite screen and hide the rest”.
“The expansion of LG’s product range is timely as we had a good year last year, we grew our TV market share. I think we can grow our share even further this year,” he said.
When asked whether carriers were prepared to support LG after past failures in the smartphone market, Doyle said “Yes, the carriers are keen to work with LG as we have some exciting products to introduce”.
Among the smartphones available for the Australian market in the short term are dual Sim 4G smartphones, and a 4G 1.5 Gigahertz smartphone that has just gone on sale in the USA on the Sprint network.
Kwon Bong-suk, Managing Director of LG Mobile Communications, he plans to introduce a new “thinking smartphone.” He believes the next great mobile innovation doesn’t necessarily have to come from Apple, and that it’s up to companies like LG to identify the “universal value” that all consumers seek from their phone.
LG claim their strategy for Australia will be to move away from simply throwing in more features and entertainment options; they claim that they want to launch products that are intelligent and responsive to particular needs.
Kwon Bong-suk said that a great example is if a situation develops where you’ve set your alarm for 6AM, but your phone notices that there’s unusually high traffic on the way to work and wakes you up at 5.30AM to make sure you’re not late.
This is similar to what Google has said is coming in the future with their “search without search” technology which is due to be trialled shortly.
LG said this type of new capability will be built into their new Android phones.
At the other end of the pricing spectrum, Kwon Bong-suk notes that LG is considering releasing a $100 smartphone, but the company won’t commit to doing so until it is sure such a device wouldn’t compromise the quality of user experience too much.
Kwon said “preparations for the development of the thinking smartphone are underway”.
LG claims Samsung struggled in the smartphone market up until the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S. They admit that before the introduction of that phone, both Korean giants were struggling to make their mark on the Android landscape. They say Samsung took off after just one well-executed product launch and LG is hoping to do the same,