LG Electronics is planning on doubling its smart home-related investments by 2020, the company’s Head of H&A Business Song Dae-hyun said at the latest iteration of the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany. The Seoul, South Korea-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will back the expansion of its Internet of Things (IoT) efforts with a number of acquisitions, with the firm now officially seeking “a good AI company,” Mr. Song said. LG’s senior executive also revealed that the tech giant recently made some moves in regards to new M&As but was unable to conclude them “due to market conditions,” a notion that he didn’t clarify.
Apart from robotics and general artificial intelligence endeavors, LG is also currently pursuing a number of related partnerships with industry-leading firms like Google and Amazon in an effort to support their voice recognition technologies in its products, Mr. Song said, in addition to confirming that the firm is presently developing its own voice-enabled IoT solutions. The ultimate goal of this diversified approach is to provide consumers with a wide variety of choices in the context of controlling their smart homes, the official concluded.
Mr. Song’s comments on LG’s home automation and general IoT-related endeavors come shortly after the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer reportedly bid $1.2 billion for ZKW Group, an Austrian maker of automotive lights. That particular move was said to be part of LG’s larger attempt to diversify its product and service portfolio in an effort to make its operations less reliant on any particular division and additional strengthening of its IoT unit would also be in line with such a strategy. The tech giant’s decision to branch out to more markets may have been partially prompted by the lackluster performance of its smartphone business which is still unable to return to the black following weak sales of the LG G6. The recently unveiled LG V30 is the firm’s latest attempt at regaining some of the market share it lost since mid-2014 and the G3, though it remains to be seen how that particular device will perform this holiday season when faced with strong competition from the likes of the Apple iPhone 8 lineup and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.