LG hasn't been as successful with its transition from featurephones to smartphones as local rival Samsung, but the fire of ambition still burns brightly in the Yeouido HQ. Kwon Bong-suk, Managing Director of LG Mobile Communications, has today shared his company's plans to introduce a new "thinking smartphone." He says, quite rightly, that the next great mobile innovation doesn't necessarily have to come from Apple, and that it's up to companies like LG to identify the "universal value" that all consumers seek from their phone.
"We'll make a product that can closely connect with consumers which will set a new rule of the game."
LG's strategy will be to move away from simply throwing in more features and entertainment options and to look to build a product that can be intelligent and responsive to your particular needs. A great example he cites is a situation where you've set your alarm for 6AM, but your phone notices that there's unusually high traffic on the way to work and wakes you up at 5.30AM to make sure you're not late. That jibes closely with the sort of "search without search" that Google has been talking up for a while now, so we're in little doubt that LG's proposed thinking smartphone would be built on Android.
At the other end of the pricing spectrum, Kwon Bong-suk notes that LG is considering releasing a $100 smartphone, but the company won't commit to doing so until it is sure such a device wouldn't compromise the quality of user experience too much.
Kwon concludes by saying that "preparations for the development of the thinking smartphone are underway," which suggests we're not in imminent danger of having our mobile lives revolutionized just yet. Still, his words should not be taken as empty bluster. The difference between Samsung and LG's smartphone fates was the Galaxy S — before the introduction of that phone, both Korean giants were struggling to make their mark on the Android landscape. Samsung took off after just one well-executed product launch, LG could do the same if it delivers on the vision presented by its Director.
Hyunhu Jang contributed to this report