LG’s 3D customers now include Panasonic, Sony
Struggling Japanese electronics firms Panasonic and Sony have opted to lean a little further on the 3D screen technology of LG Electronics, according to a senior LG executive Sunday.
In a perpetual battle with rival Samsung Electronics for bigger stakes in the growing global 3D TV market, LG’s film-based 3D technology has shown a clear advantage. It is cheaper than Samsung’s battery-powered option although arguments on technological competitiveness continue.
LG has racked up success in 3D TV sales in China and North America as well formed tie-ups with many players.
``Panasonic and Sony are planning to expand the lineup of 3D-enabled TVs this year. The key point is that their upcoming models will use LG’s technology,’’ said Nho Seok-ho, head of LG Electronics’ LCD TV division in an interview.
Nho said on the sidelines of his participation in an in-house event, ``3D TV Festival’’ at Lotte World, an amusement park in Seoul.
``That’s why we are sure to increase sales of 3D TVs this year,’’ said the executive, the right-hand man of LG’s TV chief Kwon Hee-won.
Panasonic and Sony were initially ready to adopt Samsung’s technology but they’ve decided cut costs and improve their bottom lines by using the cheaper version.
``The fact that more 3D TVs from Panasonic and Sony will be equipped with LG technology is significant as Japanese TV makers account for over 30 percent of the global 3D TV demand,’’ Nho said.
Sony rarely mentions that it has been selling 32-inch and 42-inch 3D TV sets with film-patterned 3D technology in China since this year, while Panasonic is relying more on LG for 3D screens for several of its sets.
LG plans to add a 60-inch model to its 3D TV lineup of a 65- and 72-inch set in June to actively respond to consumer demand, according to the executive.
Impressed by the trend, the LG Electronics executive said it is aiming to sell as many as 36 million LCD TVs this year, an increase of 20 percent from LG’s earlier official target of 30 million.
``The global demand for LCD TVs will rise between 7 to 8 percent this year, which is higher than last year but not that substantial. LG will save costs by diversifying procurement channels,’’ Nho said, confirming an earlier Korea Times report that the firm has struck a deal with Sharp to use the Japanese player’s LCDs for its flat-panel displays.
Nho declined to give further details about the Sharp contract. Sharp representatives in Korea weren’t available for comment on Sunday.
But Nho wasn’t bullish about the outlook for an advanced and highly-valued OLED TV due to the high prices. The upcoming 55-inch OLED TV set to be introduced by LG within the first half of this year will be sold at over 8 million won.
Yet, he said disregarding market prospects, the company will certainly defeat its nemesis in OLED.
``We really don’t care about the time to come to market. If Samsung introduces an OLED TV first, then that’s fine with us as LG is positive about beating it with the cost-effective white OLED technology,’’ said Nho.