By HK Kwon
Managing Director, LG Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd
According to Strategy Analytics, there were 1.038 billion smartphones in use worldwide, with one in seven individuals now smartphone-equipped. The situation here in Malaysia is quite similar: according to the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC)’s latest publicly available statistics, the mobile phone penetration rate stands at 133.3%. That means, practically everyone in Malaysia has a mobile phone, while a third has more than one.
Now, think back 10 to 15 years ago – do you remember what mobile phone you were using? Some of you might recall the limited memory space, LCD screens, monophonic ringtones, and definitely no mobile internet or social networking capabilities (well, unless you count SMSing your friends as “mobile social networking”)! It’s amazing to think how far mobile technology has progressed in such a short time span.
When we combine these two observations – the pervasiveness as well as the modern capabilities of mobile technology – we come to a rather interesting insight. In these few short years – relative to many other forms of consumer technology – the rate of adoption as well as the technological advances of smartphones has accelerated to a point where it has gone from being a mere tool to becoming a personal statement of choice and identity. Think of the way some die-hard fans of major smartphone ecosystems regard themselves and in particular towards those who are not like them. In fact, you’ll probably find various internet memes, infographics and videos making fun of the sometimes acrimonious relationship that exists among the various fan bases.
Indeed, mobile phones have become an extension of who we are – rather than just what we use.
As a company, LG prides itself in delighting its customers with unique, people-centric products, developed from real insights drawn by actual consumers to ultimately enhance their everyday lives. LG’s deep insight into smartphones has led the company to focus on the great experiences that technology creates for its users, leading to mobile technologies that are built around users themselves.
The company’s passion for user-inspired products can be clearly seen in its recent portfolio of smartphones.
The Optimus Vu:, for instance, won praise from phablet enthusiasts for its massive 5-inch IPS LCD display and ultra-handy 4:3 aspect ratio. The gorgeous display beautifully complements the 8-megapixel camera, and the 1.5GHz dual core processor makes sure all of that image rendering and multitasking stays smooth and sharp.
In addition, LG has continued to show off our ability to deliver powerful yet refined devices. For instance, behind the Optimus G smartphone’s 4.7-inch True HD IPS+ display, the Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5Ghz Quad Core provides all the horsepower needed to deliver a truly seamless user experience, even more so on a 4G LTE network. All together, the Optimus G wowed crowds the world over and helped the company further consolidate its image as an industry trendsetter.
LG’s Optimus G Pro has also been well-received among consumers. Take for instance the Optimus G Pro’s Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that runs four independently operating 1.7Ghz CPUs, which taken together deliver speeds best described as blazing. The phone’s 13-megapixel camera shoots in 1080p dynamically-lit video, which looks fabulous on the 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display.
All in all, LG has proven itself to be very adept at developing new technologies, sourcing the best possible components and putting together great mobile devices built around the user. And having achieved all this, the company now has its sights set on the next step: looking forward and working hard to make science fiction become reality.
This past April, LG announced that it would debut its first flexible display smartphones by the end of 2013. In the past, manufacturers struggled to develop flexible displays that could handle heavy workloads such as the playback of video content. LG, however, has made a breakthrough. The company will apply its OLED technology to overcome the challenges of displaying images over a continually bending surface. What’s more, LG’s OLED panels are rugged enough to do away with a glass covering. For LG’s design engineers, this will open up a whole new range of design possibilities.
More importantly from the consumer’s standpoint, LG will be delivering phones that can be twisted, torqued and abused without fear of breaking. No longer will users dread the sickening sound of an expensive device smacking into the concrete when it falls out of a pocket or purse. And thanks to LG’s background in OLED, the company is well ahead of the curve in terms of bringing flexible phones to market.
Another frontier that LG has set its sights on is addressing user concern over larger screen sizes. Manufacturers quickly realized that the solution to this problem was to reduce the width of the screen. However, this was far easier said than done, particularly when the screens had to respond appropriately to touch.
To address this, LG has recently unveiled a Full HD LCD smartphone panel that measures a mere 2.2mm in width with a 2.3mm bezel. This makes it the one of the slimmest smartphone display panel in the world. And the benefits extend well beyond weight savings. The sheer thinness of the panel will allow more flexibility in smartphone design, allowing for sleeker devices with what is commonly known as better ‘gripability’. Even better, image quality isn’t sacrificed. In fact, at 535 nits, the panel’s brightness sets a new standard in the industry and will allow smartphones to deliver a stunning user experience.
Industry pundits believe that in the coming years, there will be an increasing shift towards mobile technologies built around user experience as the paramount priority. Hints of this shift are already arriving – especially as user trends veer towards increasing social-networking capabilities, location-based services, as well as other contextual computing-based interactivity. These merely scratch the surface – but we will eventually see a combination of hardware, software, networks, and services that use deep understanding of the user to create tailored, relevant actions that the user can take.
All of this will, frankly, be dependent on the smartphone – because it’s always with the user. And that’s where you can count on LG being at the forefront of it all, learning from the very best… you.