EXCLUSIVE: LG Australia, who is currently working on a massive multimillion dollar relaunch of their Australian operations after a year of controversy and senior management sacking, is planning to launch new 3D Smartphones in the second half of the year however the company may not launch their 3D tablet this year.According to Brad Reed Senior Category Manager Marketing for LG Australia’s Mobile Telecommunications division the company will launch three new Smartphones late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter 2011 but is still discussing the potential of a tablet launch in Australia.
He said that there is no news on when LG Australia, will launch their new Android LG Optimus Pad, tablet, with Reed admitting that finding a retail or carrier partner for tablets is going to be difficult for several vendors.
The new LG Optimus Pad has an 8.9 inch touchscreen and a resolution of 1280×768 and is the world’s first tablet, with a built-in 3D camera which allows users to capture 3D images and videos that can then be viewed on a high-definition 3D TV.
Competition for this device includes the new 7 inch HTC Flyer, the new 10 inch the Samsung Galaxy Tab2 and a new Motorola Xoom tablet.
Reed who is currently working with the new LG marketing team is more confident of success with the new range of LG Smartphones than he appears to be for the company’s tablet. Currently LG Australia does not compete in the PC or notebook market unlike Samsung Australia.
In Australia LG is also banking on 3D in Smartphones to get them market share despite a backlash by consumers against 3D TVs.
Among the new offering to be launched in Australia will be the Optimus 3D which has a 4.3-inch (10.3 centimetres) and a WVGA display screen which comes with full 1080 X 720 viewing capability.
The device is also equipped with dual five-megapixel cameras to create high definition 3D videos, as well as photographs.
Reed who has just returned from the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona told ChannelNews that he was confident of success with the new range of Smartphones.
“There is a lot of activity out in the market at the moment particularly around Android. This is set to change the dynamics of the communication market in Australia”.
He added “It’s fairly clear that Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 will get a bigger slice of the market after their deal with Nokia so it is going to be competitive.”
When asked when LG Australia planned to get into the market with their new Smartphones Read said: “The 3 phones we announced at Barcelona will be launched in the second and third quarters”.
When asked about the tablet launch he said: “There is no current information or plans at this stage, it’s still a matter for discussion at a local level”.
Overnight LG Electronics said that it was targeting sales of 150 million mobile phones globally this year, a 30-per-cent year-on-year increase, with smart phones accounting for 20 per cent of its total sales.
The company is aiming for a four-fold rise in smart-phone sales to more than 30 million units, generating 50 per cent of its total revenue. It plans to achieve this with the launch of 20 smart-phone models around the world this year.
LG said it would invest heavily to strengthen its overall capability in research and development and quality management. It will expand its R&D workforce to more than 6,000 employees, a 15-per-cent increase over 2010.
LG Electronics, Mobile Communications president and chief executive, Park Jong-seok said: “This will be a critical year for LG and a lot of eyes are upon us to see if we’ll succeed. We don’t intend to let them down.”
Earlier this month the Ogilvy & Mather owned PR company Pulse, who operates in Australia under the guise of LGOne, refused to offer any local comment. Instead they chose to issue a US tablet press release complete with US carrier masthead and US contact details.
Sources at Ogilvy & Mather have told ChannelNews that a major relaunch of LG Australia is being planned after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission placed the Korean manufacturer on a watch list for persistent breaches of consumer laws in Australia and the issuing of misleading consumer information relating to appliances.
Already fined millions for past offences the LG Corporation sacked several senior management, last year including the Australian Managing Director and Marketing Director. Also exiting the company was their former Sales Director as well as several product managers.
“Pulse is working on several programs in conjunction with LG’s Corporate Communications team. They are set to spend millions rebuilding the brand in Australia”, the source said.
As part of the relaunch, LG Australia is set to launch new intelligent appliances that talk to Smartphones, new flat TV’s that are IP and wireless enabled. These are thinner and more power efficent than past models,they are also planning new stylish home entertainment systems as well as products for the PRO AV market.