LG and Samsung to compete in smart home platform Korean electronics giants focus on software to offer enhance user experience

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2022-01-28 08:11:08

이 기사는 2022년 01월 28일 08:08 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s electronics giants LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics are ramping up efforts to enhance their competitiveness in software, with an aim to offer improved user experiences.

LG's Home Appliance & Air Solution (H&A) division said Tuesday it will roll out upgradable home appliances, enabling users to upgrade to new products, through its smart home platform ThinQ.

The H&A division has ramped up efforts to come up with a new strategy since 2020 amid expectations for a change in the industry paradigm due to digital transformation.

“Last year, LG's sales of home appliances surpassed that of Whirlpool for the first time,” Ryu Jae-cheol, head of LG's H&A division said during an online press conference Tuesday. “But we came to a conclusion that it will be more challenging to keep the top spot by maintaining the way we have been doing business.”

Costomers can upgrade their existing appliances' features via ThinQ smartphone application. "It isn’t clear whether (upgradable home appliances) will affect products' life cycles, but we think whether customers feel and acknowledge the value is more important," Ryu said.

Samsung and LG have established their smart home platforms under brand names of SmartThings and ThinQ, respectively.

Samsung’s SmartThings app, which acts as the hub for controlling all of the company’s Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices and appliances, has garnered 200 million subscribers across the world and 12.8 million in Korea as of Wednesday, according to big data platform Mobile Index. The app has 90 million monthly active users (MAU) across the world and 8.36 million in Korea.

SmartThings offers excellent connectivity. It supports nearly 3,000 third-party smart devices alongside Samsung products like Galaxy smartphones. Smart home platforms provided by other companies normally support less than 10 third-party devices.

Samsung entered the smart home business by taking over US-based SmartThings, creator of the leading open platform for the smart home and the consumer IoT, in 2014. The Korean tech giant benchmarked Apple’s acquisition of smart home platform HomeKit and Google’s takeover of smart home-products startup Nest Labs.

In contrast, LG's smart home business has shown organic growth after the tech giant unveiled its ThinQ platform in 2011. With LG being the world’s top home appliance maker, ThinQ’s MAU is highly likely to increase in the longer-term. The company aims to provide new user experiences based on consumer behavior, big data and consumer feedback. (Reporting by Hyun-ji Sohn)
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