LG to build open mobile market for developers

LG to build open mobile market for developers

LG Electronics has launched an online retail store for its smart device line Friends, opening the platform to start-ups and developers to nurture an ecosystem for connected devices.

The new website, dubbed LG Friends, is an online market where consumers can buy LG’s latest smart devices, including a removable smartphone camera, a portable speaker, a rolling toy robot, and a wireless headset.

The Friends market will also serve as a platform for outside developers and LG’s subcontractors to sell devices that can be paired with the tech giant’s modular smartphone G5.

These developers and partners will have to get their products certified by the Korean tech giant before they can sell on the online market.

“LG wants to build an open mobile ecosystem together with developers and consumers,” said Cho Ju-no, the chief executive of LG’s mobile communications company, adding that the company will try to offer various smartphone experiences and new value.

He said earlier this year that LG would try to solidify its footing in the premium smartphone segment by rolling out high-end handsets with one-of-a-kind features like the G5 rather than focusing on rolling out affordable, mediocre products.

In order to bolster partnership with developers for the open mobile ecosystem, the Seoul-headquartered firm held a developer conference in San Francisco on Friday last week, following one held in Korea last month.

Around 200 developers took part in the event and officials from internet giant Google and drone maker Parrot spoke of collaborative works with LGE.

The Korean smartphone maker codeveloped Google’s Nexus 5X smartphone and it has been collaborating with the U.S. drone firm to roll out drones for the Friends brand.

On the domestic front, LG is currently running a contest for G5 and Friends. Developers pitch ideas and the company will incubate the best ones and turn them into real products.

Investment firms forecast that the G5 will be able to reach record high sales among the G smartphone series, surpassing the 10-million sales mark in its first year.

“The G5 will be able to garner positive response in the U.S. market, which takes up around 50 percent of LG’s overall smartphones sales,” said Soh Hyun-cheol, an analyst from Shinhan Investment, in an investment report.

The Korean firm estimated in its preliminary earnings guidance released earlier this month that it had posted 505 billion won ($439 million) in operating profit in the first three months of this year, up 65.5 percent from the sale period last year.

Source:   http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160418000697

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