LG Electronics vows aggressive pursuit of rivals

A model poses next to a latest generation OLED TV screen at the booth of LG at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin.

BERLIN - LG Electronics on Friday sought to dispel skepticism on the local electronics firm's competitive edge over Samsung and other rivals from China and Japan.

"LG will forge full cooperation with its affiliates such as LG Display, LG Chem and LG Innotek to reach the top of the TV market," said Kwon Hee-won, the president of LG's home entertainment business.

He dismissed the challenges posed by Sony, which unveiled a 65-inch LED curved TV, UHD TVs unveiled by Chinese firms, and pledged to widen LG's technological gap with its global rivals.

"Sony's new curved-screen LED TV is not fully concave, and the screen is also thick. Further, Chinese UHD TVs do not provide true UHD picture quality," Kwon said.

He said it was necessary, however, to release products that could lead the markets for at least three or four years as these foreign competitors were catching up at an unprecedented speed.

Kwon also appeared to be mindful of Samsung, currently the world's top television maker with a 27.1 per cent share in the global flat-screen TV market, followed by LG. The gap in market share between the two was more than 10 percentage points.

Despite being the chronic No. 2 player, LG has recently been showing it was up to the competition by revealing cutting-edge technologies before Samsung.

At this year's IFA trade show, LG unveiled more premium TVs including the world's largest 77-inch curved-screen UHD TV, which was more than 20 inches bigger than Samsung's.

Kwon indicated that new ideas were on the table to pursue Samsung, including a curved light emitting diode television that is not yet considered as viable as using organic light emitting diodes.

In the lower-end market, Kwon said LG must pursue a high-end corporate image before seeking price competitiveness.

"LG's 84-inch UHD TV, which was unveiled this January, for instance, is receiving ample attention from wealthier consumers, such as Russians living in Spanish or Latvian uptown venues near the sea shore," the president said to illustrate his point.

But keeping the average household in mind, LG will also be soon cutting the prices of some of its high-end UHD and OLED TVs to below the $5,000 range, a move that reflects its bipolar business tactics consisting of both high- and low-end models.

Mentioning the CES show scheduled to be held next January, he promised to showcase televisions that would meet expectations of consumers and the market, while declining to comment on specific projects that were underway.