LG and Bang & Olufsen got together earlier this year to make one of the modules for LG's new flagship smartphone, but now the companies are taking their relationship to the next level. Bang & Olufsen announced this morning that it is entering a "strategic technology partnership" with LG to develop new televisions. B&O says it wants to bring together the Danish company's lauded design with LG's OLED experience, with the first set expected to launch in 2017. B&O CEO Tue Mantoni said in a press release that the partnership would address the company's "key challenges related to scale and complexity."
It's a partnership that has potential benefit, but with problems on both sides of the deal. Bang & Olufsen hasn't made a profit for the last three years, and is currently in talks to find a potential buyer for the company, reports Reuters. The OLED display technology championed by LG, meanwhile, is still a bit of an uncertain prospect. Fellow TV makers Sony and Samsung have backed away from OLED because of manufacturing challenges, while LG committed $8.7 billion to a new OLED factory last year. Using OLED displays for Bang & Olufsen TVs could mean better colors and deeper blacks than with LCD, and LG's manufacturing expertise could lower costs (although it's unlikely to alter B&O's premium prices). The stock market, at least, is taking heart at the news, with B&O's share price rising 10 percent in early trading.