OLED television sets are supposed to be the wave of the future, but early OLED adopters LG and Samsung have found that the future can be very expensive. Bloomberg reports that LG and Samsung’s big bets on OLEDs haven’t panned out so far and the two companies “are now pivoting, with plans to boost output of LCD sets to maintain their dominance of the industry.” The issue for both companies has been how to produce OLED TVs at a low enough cost where they become attractive to consumers. Given that LG’s first OLED television released earlier this year costs around $10,000, it’s safe to say that consumers are looking for much lower price points before they buy in. In the meantime, Bloomberg says that rival manufacturer Sony has the perfect opportunity to swoop in and grab market share while Samsung and LG retool their plans.
Flexible displays are set to become the next big thing in mobile technology. LG previously confirmed that it will release a smartphone with a flexible display later this year, while unbreakable handsets from Samsung and Motorola are also said to be in the pipeline. LG on Monday announced that it plans to demo a 5-inch flexible and unbreakable OLED display for the first time this week at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) annual trade show. The company will also showcase a new 5-inch HD display with a 1mm wide bezel, which will allow for the “production of borderless smartphones that are lightweight and emit significantly less heat.” LG plans to release a smartphone with a flexible OLED display in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Recent reports suggested Ultra HD TV might not flop after all, and their prospects will only be helped by an early round of price cuts. Preliminary analyses from industry watchers didn’t paint a promising picture for Ultra HD, but more recent reports say new higher-resolution 4K panels might account for as much as 20% of all flat TV displays shipped this year. Now, a new report from Digitimes points out that Ultra HD TVs already saw deep price cuts in China for the holidays. Some models apparently saw price drops so huge that they matched the pricing of comparable 1080p TVs. Digitimes’ sources say suppliers are expected to ship between 3.5 million and 4 million 4K TV displays in 2013.
A new report suggests that prepaid smartphones are becoming more popular among consumers. According to research from NPD Group, 32% of all smartphones sold in the first quarter were prepaid devices, up from 21% during the same period in 2012. Samsung was found to be the most popular vendor of prepaid smartphones, accounting for 32% of sales in the first quarter. Handsets from LG made up 22%, Huawei 11%, and Apple and HTC tied at 8%. Prepaid iPhone sales were found to have increased fourfold in Q1 though, while sales of LG smartphones doubled year-over-year. More →
Tired of seeing Samsung and HTC hog the limelight for Android handsets this spring, LG is planning to launch a new smartphone of its own on May 30th. Per Techradar, LG has sent out press invitations for a May 30th event in Macau for the unveiling of an unnamed smartphone that in all likelihood will be the sequel to the Optimus G. The tagline on the invitation is “ImaGination Begins,” with an emphasis on the “G,” so it’s almost a sure thing that the device will be some new variation of its Optimus G series that includes both the original Optimus G and the new Optimus G Pro. We got our first glimpse of what could be the Optimus G2 in leaked pictures last week, although we still have no idea what kinds of specifications the phone will have.
According to data from Canaccord Genuity, Apple and Samsung managed to capture 100% of the mobile industry’s profits last quarter. In the first quarter of 2013, Apple took home 57% of the global smartphone industry’s profits, while Samsung grabbed almost 43% to leave nothing for BlackBerry, Nokia or HTC. In fact, the only company that managed a mobile profit share above 0% was LG with its 1% share. Even at nearly 100%, however, Apple and Samsung’s share of mobile profit has actually declined from last year. The research firm previously reported that the two companies captured 103% of handset industry profits in 2012. More →
AT&T nabbed the exclusive rights to carry the LG Optimus G Pro smartphone in the United States, however new information suggests a similar handset could debut on Sprint later this year. A User Agent Profile on Sprint’s website has revealed that the two companies are working on an Optimus smartphone with a full HD 1080p display, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and an upgraded quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. The device also carries the model number LS980, which is in line with the Optimus G Pro’s identification (E980) on AT&T. The Optimus G Pro is scheduled to arrive on AT&T on May 10th for $199 with a new two-year agreement. The smartphone is equipped with a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, a micro SD slot and a 13-megapixel rear camera.
Photos of an unannounced LG smartphone have been published online and while the device is not likely to be the next-generation Google Nexus phone, it may very well give us a good idea of what to expect when the Nexus 5 debuts later this year. Evleaks, who recently published images of what is believed to be Google’s upcoming X Phone, posted photos of an unknown LG handset on his Facebook and Twitter accounts this past weekend. The presence of LG branding on the face of the phone suggests the device is not the upcoming Nexus 5, and speculation suggests it could be the sequel to LG’s flagship Optimus G smartphone. More →
A new report suggests that LG and Google will be teaming up to produce several new products including another smartphone and an OLED TV set. According to the Korea Times, Google CEO Larry Page met with LG’s chief executive Koo Bon-joon on a recent visit to South Korea. The two executives reportedly spoke for more than an hour and discussed ways to improve their business partnership, including more deals between the two companies. LG is now said to be working on a second Nexus-branded smartphone and is reportedly in talks to launch “an LG-Google OLED TV,” in addition to its current lineup of Google TV products. LG previously partnered with Google to release the popular Nexus 4 smartphone last fall.
LG has continued to make inroads in the lucrative mobile market that in recent years has become dominated by its South Korean rival Samsung. The company has taken an aggressive approach against Samsung and even attempted to steal the thunder away from its Galaxy S4 event earlier this year. LG’s original Optimus G smartphone was well received by critics and LG hopes its sequel will find even more success. But can the Optimus G Pro hold its own in a Galaxy controlled by Samsung? More →
AT&T on Wednesday announced the upcoming launch of LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the Optimus G Pro. The newest addition to LG’s Optimus smartphone lineup features a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 3,140 mAh battery, a 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. “The LG Optimus G Pro gives AT&T customers the ability to create and share rich content easily,” said AT&T’s SVP od devices, Jeff Bradley. ”There’s no better place to experience that content than exclusively on our 4G LTE network, the nation’s fastest.” The Optimus G Pro will cost $199.99 on contract when it becomes available beginning May 10th.
“Ultra HD” TVs from companies like Samsung and LG made a big showing at this past Consumer Electronics Show in January, but even the lead analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association — the group that organizes CES each year — thought ultra HD would be a flop. As it turns out, however, that may not be the case. CEA’s Steve Koenig believed ultra HD TV sales would climb to just 1.6 million units three years from now in 2016, but new data from Digitimes’ unnamed industry sources suggests that shipments of TV panels with “ultra HD” 4K resolution will already fall between 3.5 million and 4 million units in 2013. The report claims top panel OEMs Innolux, AU Optronics and China Star Optoelectronics are all increasing production, and Innolux alone is expected to ship between 2 million and 3 million ultra HD TV displays this year.
Vendors doing battle in the global smartphone market last quarter saw the distance grow between Samsung, the market leader, and the rest of the pack. Market research firm Strategy Analytics is always among the first to issue quarterly shipment estimates and now that Samsung’s Q1 results are on record, the firm has made its numbers for the March quarter available. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped an estimated 69.4 million smartphones globally in Q1, representing 56% growth over the year-ago quarter, to take a record 33% of the global smartphone market. The South Korea-based juggernaut grew nine times faster than Apple, which sold “a lackluster 37.4 million iPhones worldwide.” Apple’s market share fell to 17.9% in the first quarter from 22.8% in the same quarter last year. More →