LG aims 5mn 3D TVs, targets Samsung with new tech

LG aims 5mn 3D TVs, targets Samsung with new tech

Seoul: South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc., the world’s No.2 TV manufacturer, said on Wednesday that it aims to sell 5 million 3D televisions in 2011, as it seeks to return to profit with fatter-margin products.

Its TV division swung into a loss last quarter, hit by weaker-than-expected consumer demand for TVs and price competitions from the likes of Sony Corp. and Panasonic.

In its boldest yet move to challenge bigger rival Samsung, LG introduced on Wednesday a 3D TV set using a new display, and said it would entirely migrate into the technology from the third quarter, ditching the current mainstay technology in the burgeoning TV segment.

LG said the new technology, called film patterned retarder (FPR), will address consumer concerns over blurry and flickering images that previous 3D technology gained notoriety for, and the glasses will be two to three times lighter than previous bulky and special eyewear.

Eyewear is close to normal sunglasses and costs around only $10, as it is free of signal chips, chargers or power switches and 3D processing technology is mainly embedded in the TV set, LG said.

“It’s the second-generation 3D technology and the market is evolving to this new generation. We are confident that this technology will lead the market and we’ll aggressively push for FPR," Havis Kwon, head of LG’s home entertainment division, told reporters.

LG aims to sell 5 million 3D sets this year in a market estimated at around 14 million sets, and control 20% of the global market for smart TVs.

Its move may face an uphill battle because major TV vendors have yet to adopt the new technology, and Samsung, the No.1 producer, is aggressively pushing for a revamped version of the conventional 3D-type technology.

Samsung said last month it aimed to sell 8-9 million 3D sets this year and 12 million smart TVs.

Shares in LG closed down 1.2% on Wednesday, in line with a 1% drop in the wider market.