2013 is shaping up to be the year LG finds its voice in the mobile industry. The company recently shipped a record 10.3 million smartphones in the first quarter and is expecting that number to increase throughout the year. Handsets such as the Optimus G, Nexus 4 and Optimus G Pro have won over consumers, however LG believes it has the next big thing coming later this year. Yoon Bu-hyun, vice president of LG’s mobile business, confirmed on the company’s earnings call this week that it plans to launch a smartphone with a flexible OLED display before the end of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported. Although it is unlikely that the handset will be truly flexible due to limitations with other components, it will be the first consumer device to include a wraparound display. LG plans to release the flexible OLED smartphone sometime in the fourth quarter.
LG has found success with a handful of LTE and 3G smartphones that have propelled shipments to record heights. The company announced on Wednesday that Android smartphones such as the Optimus G, Optimus G Pro, Optimus L Series and Nexus 4 have helped shipments climb to a record 10.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013. LG said more extensive availability of newer devices is expected to help smartphone sales and shipments increase further in the second quarter. The company is scheduled to announce the U.S. launch of its flagship Optimus G Pro smartphone on May 3rd. The handset has thus far been a hit, surpassing half a million units sold in South Korea in just 40 days.
LG announced on Thursday that its “world-first” curved OLED TVs will launch in the second half of this year, Engadget reported. The company unveiled its curved displays at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and promised that they deliver wider viewing angles than standard OLED TVs with an improved panoramic experience. The display was showcased with a 55-inch OLED panel that included a paper-thin design, 1080p full HD resolution and 3D support. LG hopes its new curved TVs will help it boost falling TV sales, however the price of OLED technology is still a major hurdle the company must overcome.
LG’s latest Optimus G smartphone hasn’t even arrived in the U.S. and the company is already planning to release a sequel. LG head of mobile marketing, Won Kim, confirmed to reporters on Thursday that “something different and something unique” is coming later this year, Engadget reported. The executive didn’t give specific details, however he revealed that the new flagship device will stick closer to a 5-inch screen size rather than the 5.5-inch display on the Optimus G Pro. The handset is also expected to be one of the first devices to run the new version of Android, rumored to be called Key Lime Pie. Kim said LG’s next-generation flagship smartphone is scheduled to be released sometime in the third quarter.
Wireless charging advocacy group Power Matters Alliance (PMA) on Wednesday announced that it has recruited Samsung, HTC and LG to support its cause. The group has a long list of members, including AT&T, Google, Blackberry, NEC, Texas Instruments and ZTE. PMA is pushing a unified wireless charging standard and has already deployed with its partners more than 1,500 charging stations across Starbucks coffee shops, airports and other locations. The group has asked its device partners to integrate PMA-certified wireless charging solutions into their products by 2014 and AT&T has also pledged to embed the technology into its smartphones within the same timeframe. Until then, the group is working with members to “deploy PMA-certified handsets and accessories as quickly as possible.” PMA’s press release follows below. More →
Samsung (005930) showcased a number of unique feature at its Galaxy S4 press event last month in New York City. The company touted the smartphone’s ability to pause a video when a user looked away from the screen and its new camera technology that allowed for the front and rear-facing cameras to operate at the same time. The Galaxy S4 is expected to shatter all sorts of records when it is released later this month, however one company is trying to get in Samsung’s way. More →
LG (066570) was the first to bring OLED and 4K resolution televisions to market and now it is planning another milestone with flexible display technology. According to the Korea Times, LG plans to ship its first batch of flexible displays later this year. South Korean rival Samsung (005930) showcased its “Youm” flexible displays at the Consumer Electronic Show this past January, however the company doesn’t expect it to be available in consumer devices for several years. LG is making a big push into mobile, recently finding success with its new Optimus G Pro smartphone, and a flexible display could be the next big thing to get the public’s attention.
LG’s (066570) latest flagship smartphone may be heading to the U.S. as early as next month. According to Android Central, the Optimus G Pro could arrive on AT&T (T) on May 10th. The smartphone is equipped with a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 1.7GHz quad core Snapdragon 600 processor and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The Optimus G Pro also includes LTE connectivity, NFC, 32GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, 2GB of RAM, a 3,140 mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. LG previously revealed that the device sold more than half a million units in South Korea.
Law enforcement officers raided the headquarters of Samsung’s (005930) display unit in South Korea this week over allegations that it stole OLED technology from LG Display (LPL), Bloomberg reported. Officers sought to gather evidence and determine whether partners of the rival display-maker leaked its technology secrets and if Samsung was involved in any way. The two companies have been butting heads recently with a string of patent infringement lawsuits stemming from charges filed against six LG employees who were found to have stolen Samsung’s OLED technology last July. More →
LG (066570) has found success with its new Optimus G Pro phablet. The device launched in South Korea in late February and has already sold more than half a million units in a mere 40 days. The Optimus G Pro has seen considerably more success than the original Optimus G smartphone, which reached sales of 1 million units in four months on the market in South Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States. The company’s latest handset, which looks strikingly similar to Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Note II, is equipped with a 5.5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 1.7GHz quad core Snapdragon 600 processor and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The Optimus G Pro also includes a microSD slot, NFC, LTE connectivity, a 3,140 mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. LG previously announced that the smartphone will be available in the U.S. later this year.
After reportedly dropping its earlier lawsuits against LG (066570), Samsung (005930) on Tuesday filed a brand new suit against its South Korean rival over alleged slander committed in a refrigerator ad. For those who need a refresher, Samsung and LG had been locked in a patent battle over OLED and LCD display technology, although both were said to be working toward patent peace with a settlement. LG recently reaffirmed its suit against the company and demanded compensation, and even made threats against Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4 smartphone. Unlike earlier disagreement, however, the latest lawsuit does not involve patents. More →
Ultra HD TVs with 4K resolution were the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but not even the director of industry analysis at the group that organizes CES each year was convinced Ultra HD TV would see meaningful adoption in 2013. According to a recent report, however, HDTVs with Ultra HD resolution might get off to a stronger than expected start. Digitimes claims its unnamed market observer sources expect display panels destined for Ultra HD TVs to account for as much as 20% of HDTV panel shipments in 2013. China-based TV vendors are expected to account for much of the early demand, and Innolux and AUO are named as the main suppliers of 4K display panels. Digitimes notes that pricing is still a barrier for widespread adoption, as Ultra HD panels cost about twice as much as comparable 1080p displays.
Not one to be left out, a new report suggests LG (066570) will also be building a smartwatch to compete with rumored offerings from Apple (AAPL), Samsung (005930) and Google (GOOG). According to The Korea Times, LG is developing a next-generation watch, along with another “innovative smart product” similar to Google Glass. The company believes that smartwatches are the next “must-have” devices and is interested in staying ahead of the technology curve. LG’s watch is rumored to be powered by Android, although it is speculated that it could run Mozilla’s Firefox OS. The latest rumors claim that Apple and Google are developing smartwatches, while Samsung’s mobile boss confirmed the company is also working on a connected watch that will launch later this year.