The Korea Herald


Samsung, LG to boast enhanced connectivity at IFA

Tech rivals will also make motor show debut at IAA in Munich

By Jo He-rim

Published : Aug. 31, 2023 - 19:22

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Samsung Electronics' showroom at the IFA, Europe’s biggest home appliances trade show, in Berlin (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Electronics' showroom at the IFA, Europe’s biggest home appliances trade show, in Berlin (Samsung Electronics)

At this year’s IFA, Europe’s biggest home appliances trade show, two of South Korea’s tech giants, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, are set to showcase their latest premium products that maximize energy efficiency

As the IFA celebrates its 99th anniversary this year, about 2,290 companies in the fields of IT, consumer appliances and telecommunication will take part from 50 countries. The five-day event, which kicks off in Berlin on Friday, will see 174 Korean companies taking part, the biggest number to date.

In line with the IFA's keywords -- artificial intelligence, robots, high energy efficiency and sustainability -- the two Korean crosstown rivals are prepared to present an array of premium and highly efficient appliances and solutions, backed by artificial intelligence.

Focus on efficiency

As one of their main focuses, both LG and Samsung have emphasized the energy-saving features on their consumer appliance products, targeting the highly environment-conscious European market.

Under the theme of "Sustainable Life, Joy for All," LG plans to set up LG Sustainable Village that embraces the company's sustainability and eco-friendly goals, built with eco-responsible materials, including recycled fabric and mesh nets.

LG is presenting LG Smart Cottage, a prefabricated two-story home that can be moved around easily, with 4-kilowatt solar panels mounted on its roof. The home is also fully equipped with all of LG's home automation features using the LG ThinQ application.

The tech giant will also introduce the latest built-in kitchen appliance package along with its new washing machine combining the dryer function in one appliance, aimed at reducing power consumption.

Samsung has also divided the life cycle of its products into several stages -- material sourcing, production, delivery and recycling -- and elaborates on ways to reduce carbon footprint in each stage.

Via the Carbon Concentration Insight function which the company will introduce for the first time this year, users can have access to information on the energy consumption in each country and the time zone they reside in, the company said.

Samsung's appliances also have an AI Saving Mode, which offers a monthly estimate of household energy usage and automatically turns the devices to power saving mode to cut down energy consumption by up to 60 percent.

Samsung is also introducing a new washer and dryer package -- the Bespoke AI Washer and Dryer Combo with Digital Inverter Heat Pump technology -- which combines both washer and dryer functions for users to complete their laundry loads in one step, as well as saving space in their homes.

TV at its finest

Samsung and LG are also expected to showcase their high-end premium TV lineup at the IFA.

Samsung rolled out its 89-inch MicroLED TV last month in South Korea, with a retail price of 130 million won ($100,000). MicroLED runs on LEDs that emit light and the color is densely packed in micrometer units, resulting in a higher resolution compared to OLED displays.

Samsung is also expected to ramp up the presentation of its OLED TVs, along with other products such as the Neo QLED and QLED models.

In OLED TVs, Samsung strives to catch up with its archrival LG, the market leader, having resumed production after a nearly nine-year hiatus. According to Omdia, a market tracker, Samsung secured a 6.1 percent share in the OLED market, far behind LG Electronics with 54.6 percent and Sony with 26.1 percent.

The tech giant will also exhibit the Frame-Disney 100 Edition, which services content from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel, Lucas Film and National Geographic.

LG will exhibit its 97-inch LG Signature OLED M TV, which is the world's first wireless OLED TV. Also introducing the 83-inch and 77-inch variants, LG has launched its latest product in Europe this month, following its release in North America and South Korea.

LG will also present the LG StanbyME Go, a 27-inch touchscreen TV designed to resemble a briefcase, which it launched in Europe and North America this month. The portable screen is designed to offer users the freedom to enjoy various content not only in indoor spaces, but also outdoors at parks and campgrounds.

Enhanced connectivity

The two archrivals in the consumer appliances market are also expected to make official their cross-brand connectivity at the IFA for the first time, announcing the result of their collaboration with fellow members of the Home Connectivity Alliance.

While both companies have been stressing connectivity among their own brand devices, their advanced technologies lacked compatibility with gadgets from other brands, with limited application.

For the convenience of users, the companies have joined up to allow users to control third-party smart appliances using the smartphone apps of their choice -- Samsung's SmartThings app, LG's ThinQ or Vestel's VeeZy.

Their cross-brand connectivity function will be launched in eight countries first, including South Korea and the US in the fourth quarter of 2023, and later expand to other regions.

HCA now includes 15 global brands and features member companies including the Electrolux Group, Haier and GE Appliances. Samsung is a founding member and holds the chair position of the board of the HCA.

At the IFA, Samsung is also launching a new food platform application in a bid to bring together food enthusiasts from around the world, offering personalized recipes and diet advice.

Renewed mobility push

The two Korean tech giants will also be tapping into an entirely different event during the IFA event period. With both companies seeking to expand their automotive electronic components businesses, they will attend IAA Mobility, a global motor show set to take place in Munich from Sept. 5 to 10 for the very first time.

Samsung's Device Solution division in charge of the company's semiconductor business, will have its own showroom, joining its affiliates Samsung Display and secondary battery maker Samsung SDI to showcase its automotive chips.

The tech giant plans to introduce its vision for automotive chips, centering on three areas -- autonomous driving, centralized computing and vehicle-to-everything communication -- at the motor event.

LG will not have a showroom at IAA Mobility, but its CEO Cho Joo-wan will take to the stage to introduce the company's customer insights and vision for the future of its mobility ecosystem.

LG has been ramping up its vehicle component division, which has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent over the past decade. LG said it expects to achieve 10 trillion won in revenue this year, and plans to double the figure to 20 trillion won by 2030.

The division's core businesses include automotive infotainment systems, electric vehicle charging solutions, e-powertrain and lighting systems.

LG Electronics’ order log of automotive components stands at over 80 trillion won. The company looks to bring up the number to 100 trillion won by the end of this year.