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[Newsmaker] Samsung, LG vie for Europe’s premium market at IFA

BERLIN -- Two South Korean electronics giants are set to square off traditional players in Europe’s premium sector at an annual trade show in the German capital, with Chinese competitors also set to make a fierce move to enter the mass consumer electronics market in the region.

Armed with high-end lineups, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will each hold big events at the IFA that kicks off Friday for a six-day run.

For LG, the IFA is a debut stage for its high-end brand SIGNATURE, the company said.

Targeting Miele’s dominant presence in the European premium market, LG wants to use the trade show as an opportunity to showcase the technology, durability and luxury of its premium products.

“We will lead the world’s premium home appliance market by offering differentiated customer value created by market-leading technology and innovative designs,” said Na Young-bae, vice president of the global marketing unit of LG Electronics.

Having secured a stable sales network and customer base in North America, Asia and the Middle East, LG is in the process of shifting its global marketing strategy to Europe. It said it had faced difficulties entering the markets of countries in Europe due to customer loyalty to home players and differences in the marketing systems.

“While North America has a centralized sales networks, each country in Europe has a different market system, making us hard to infiltrate so far,” said Na Ju-young, spokeswoman for LG Electronics.
 

Models pose inside a tunnel illuminated with images from organic light-emitting diode screens. (LG Electronics)

Models pose inside a tunnel illuminated with images from organic light-emitting diode screens. (LG Electronics)

“This is the first time that LG is pouring this much effort into promoting the company’s premium lineups at IFA. It means we are going to aggressively target the European high-end market, long dominated by traditional players like Miele.”

In a show of confidence, LG has secured floor space 40 percent larger than last year. It is running three separate exhibitions to demonstrate its technology and designs.

Under the title “Innovation for a Better Life,” LG is showcasing its premium home electronics line LG SIGNATURE, TVs powered by organic light-emitting diodes, as well as built-in motors and compressors, which are the main components of home appliances like air conditioners and washing machines.

LG’s event at IFA features an indoor tunnel illuminated with images from OLED screens and an outdoor garden designed by the UK-based Jason Bruges Studio to promote the technology and the image of its SIGNATURE line products.

For the first time, LG is also displaying OLED TVs capable of using hybrid log gamma, a solution designed to meet the requirements of high dynamic range, in partnership with several high-profile broadcasters including the European Broadcasting Union.

“The demonstration is designed to highlight LG’s leadership in the global TV industry, offering visitors the chance to experience HDR content on LG OLED TVs firsthand,” the company said in a statement.

Samsung Electronics has also set up a quantum dot gallery comprised of its 45 super ultra-high definition TV sets at the entrance of the exhibition, presenting media art under the theme of “The origin of quantum dot” designed by media artists.

The gallery presents the technology history of Samsung’s display panels from cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display and plasma display panel to the latest OLED. It also offers a glimpse into how Samsung’s newest technology quantum dots will be used in the future industry.

Visitors can experience the durability and colors of the quantum dots at the gallery, the company said.

Samsung has also prepared a pavilion where visitors can have firsthand experience on the diverse services of its smart TVs.

The tech firm recently partnered with global content providers such as Amazon and Netflix to offer more High Dynamic Range content to subscribers in Europe.

Amazon was the first to launch HDR with Samsung TVs and titles available today include award-winning and popular Amazon Original Series such as “Transparent,” “The Man in the High Castle” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”

“European consumers can enjoy these much desired HDR titles with the Amazon Video app and Netflix apps on Samsung’s Quantum dot SUHD TV,” a Samsung’s official said. “They are slated to provide over 300 hours of HDR programming combined by the end of the year.”
 

Lee Young-hee, Samsung Electronics’ executive vice president of global marketing and mobile communications business, introduces the Gear S3 in Berlin on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Lee Young-hee, Samsung Electronics’ executive vice president of global marketing and mobile communications business, introduces the Gear S3 in Berlin on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Ahead of the IFA Samsung unveiled its much-anticipated smartwatch Gear S3 on Wednesday evening.

The new gadget, which comes in two models Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic, enables users to measure fitness activities through global positioning system and to take phone calls and enjoy music via Bluetooth and long-term evolution communications, the company said.

The new smartwatch also allows users to make mobile payments via Samsung’s mobile payment service Samsung Pay, which supports near field communication and magnetic secure transmission, the company said.

By Cho Chung-un and Shin Ji-hye 
(christory@heraldcorp.com) (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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