LG to face difficult 2015, launch Firefox LTE phone in Japan

South Korean tech giant LG Electronics is expected to have hard time next year due to strong competition in the premium smartphone market.
Written by Jaehwan Cho, Contributor

LG is to face a difficult environment in 2015, according to Eugene Securities Analyst Yoon Hyuk-jin's corporate analysis report which was released on last week.

Yoon pointed out that Apple's iPhone 6 is the main source of LG's negative expectation in 2015.

"Due to strong competition of North American smartphone market after the iPhone 6 release in September, LG's Mobile Communication division's rate of return in the fourth-quarter is to record 2.4 percent, 1.5 percent fall from the third-quarter," Yoon said in his report.

LG said it shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the July-September period, its highest ever for a business quarter. It toppled LG's previous record set in the second quarter of the year of 14.5 million units.

The company has also announced it set to launch the FxO, the world's first LTE-enabled phone powered by the Firefox operating system in Japan.

The FxO has a 4.7-inch HD IPS display, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2.1 megapixel front camera, 2,370 mAh battery life, and a 1.2 Ghz quad-core processor. Firefox 2.0 is installed on the device.
LG FxO smartphone
(Image: LG)

LG said Japan's renown designer Yoshioka Tokujin managed the overall design of FxO, and its has a unique gold translucent overtone.

"In order to express the ideology of Firefox OS which is open for everyone, we improved aesthetic impression by arranging parts of the smartphone clearly with the translucent design body" LG said in a statement.

South Korean smartphone makers, including Samsung and LG, are having difficulties claiming more customers in Japan. According to Japanese third-quarter smartphone market share report by Strategy Analytics, Apple had 40 percent of market share in Japan, while Samsung had 5.5 percent. LG was neglected in the report.

The phone will be available via Japanese telco KDDI.

Elsewhere in LG's business, Kwon Sung-ryul, an analyst at Dongbu Securities, anticipated a slump in LG's Home Entertainment (HE) division, which manages the company's TV business after the fourth-quarter of 2014.

"Profitability of [LG's] HE division is not higher than expected. LCD TV sales recorded under nine million range, so far," Kwon said in his report. Kwon downgraded LG's HE division rate of profit from 2.2 percent to 0.7 percent.

LG headquarters raided by prosecutors over washing machine debacle

South Korean Prosecutors have commenced a search and seizure of LG Electronics' headquarters in Seoul as part of their investigation into whether LG executives and employees intentionally damaged rival Samsung's washing machines.

What started off as a somewhat amusing rivalry between the South Korean electronics giants which began when Samsung sued LG alleging that executivess of the latter willfully sabotaged Samsung-made washing machines at a electronics store in Berlin during the IFA tradeshow earlier this year, has now escalated into a full-blown investigation with local prosecutors involved following some serious accusations and lawsuits thrown between the two companies in the past months.

Prosecutors commenced a search of LG's Seoul headquarters, including the office of company's appliance boss Jo Seong-jin -- who allegedly damaged the door hinges of one of Samsung's washing machine -- as well as LG's factory at Changwon, South Gyeongnam Province, early Friday, a day after Christmas. They have reportedly seized hard disk drives and data of the those that attended the IFA tradeshow along with Jo.

A spokesman for the prosecution confirmed the search but declined to comment on what precise charge it was executing the seizures under, as well as the entire scope of the searches. A LG spokesman also confirmed the actions but said the company was unaware of the range.

Samsung earlier this year filed a lawsuit for property damages and defamation against Jo and LG Electronics executives after the IFA tradeshow while LG countersued earlier this month claiming defamation and evidence tampering.

Prosecutors have currently imposed a travel ban on the LG appliance boss due to failure to comply to multiple requests to attend investigations. LG have said that Jo will fully comply after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next year, which he was expected to attend, though whether now he is able to do so remains to be seen.

Source: ZDNet.co.kr

Editorial standards