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Feb 09 2013

Saudi shoppers have high purchasing power

The future is going to be the technology revolution for ultra high definition (UHD) in all the LCD, LED and OLED televisions. But now the trend is HD (high definition), which is going to shift to UHD (ultra high definition) for all the products, according to LG Electronics President John Lee. «The prospects for the new trends hold good in Saudi Arabia, which has been spending millions of riyals to boost its economy and reduce its inflation rate, and make its position stronger in the GCC,» Lee told Khalil Hanware of Arab News in an exclusive interview in Jeddah.

The following are excerpts from the interview:

What is the new product lineup of LG Electronics in 2013?
We have planned a new and innovative product lineup of LG Electronics (LG) in 2013 for every division: In mobiles category, LG will launch the newest smart phone in the Nexus lineup from Google in the Saudi market. Designed collaboratively by LG and Google, the Nexus 4, is being unveiled next month with LG Optimus G featuring a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768-pixel high-definition display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera and a 2,100 mAh battery, with a tweaked version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It will be launched in April. In home appliances division, LG will launch the world's biggest washing machine with excellent washing results called Titan, with the capacity of 20-24 kg.

In air conditioner division, LG has planned to introduce Tropical Air Conditioners in bigger capacity 32 & 38 BTU to cater to the demand of Saudi market in 2013. In refrigerators category, LG has already launched its 'Side by Side' refrigerators equipped with the world's first dual access door system with the largest capacity in Saudi Arabia. A proprietary LG's own design, this new Door in Door (DID) refrigerators opens with the simple push of a button, giving consumers quick access to their favorite snacks and drinks. In home entertainment division, LG recently announced the launching of 'World's first' 84-inch Ultra High Definition (UHD) 3D TV in Riyadh. The UHD TV boasts the advanced Triple XD Engine. This exceptional picture processing technology creates astonishingly vivid images, with 8 million pixels per frame; four times the resolution (3840x2160) of Full HD TV panels.

How was the year 2012 for LG products in the Kingdom and globally compared to 2011?

Year 2012 for LG was very successful as well as profitable as we achieved our goals and objectives in terms of the profits, revenue, new and innovative products, market share, etc. LG sustained and maintained its position in the air conditioners and home appliances market. As our AC market captured a 50 percent market share and our home appliances market share was above 30 percent, so eventually we maintained to be on the top of both the categories in 2012.

LG launched 'World's First' 84-inch (UHD) 3D TV in KSA recently. Will its functions be included in most LG TVs as a norm?

Yes, definitely. Smart is the basic function in LG products and 3D is the basic conversion choice, for LG's Smart Functions is the base for LG products and it's the already built-in feature in all our products so we focus on other features more like UHD, etc., as Smart technology is base for our products.

LG's 84-inch UHD TV is the winner of the 'Best of Innovations' in the Video Display category at the 2013 International CES Innovations Awards. Please tell us what impact it will have on the TV market?

It will make a very high impact in TV category as LG 84 inch UHD TV is the winner of the Best of Innovations in the video display category at the 2013 International CES Innovations Awards compared to other products. LG Electronics is the first company to successfully commercialize UHD TV technology, introducing the immersive set for sale to the public in August of this year.

What differentiates LG''s 84-inch UHD 3D TV from its competitors?

The clear difference between LG's 84-inch UHD 3D TV and those from its competitors is that our TV is the Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV but others are on High Definition (HD) not UHD. This feature makes LG 84 inch UHD TV different and unique from others.

What kind of market prospects you see for your new 84-inch UHD 3D TV in the coming years in the region and globally?

Saudi Arabia is a rich country and here the purchasing power of the people is very high compared to other countries and also the inflation rate is below 5 percent. As well, the economy is stable. And if the economy of Saudi Arabia remains stable like as it is now, then obviously it will make LG 84 inch UHD TV very popular in Saudi market in accordance with its high purchasing power.

How big is the market demand of UHD TVs as compared to LCD, LED, OLED TVs in the Kingdom?

Saudi Arabia has been spending millions of riyals to boost its economy and reduce its inflation rate, and make its position stronger in the GCC. The future is going to be the technology revolution for UHD in all the LCDs, LEDs and OLEDs, but now the trend is HD (high definition), which is going to shift to UHD (ultra high definition) for all the products.

Is web Internet browsing available on LG's 84 inch UHD 3D TVs?

Yes, for the LG brand Smart is the basic key function, and we assume it as a basic and built-in feature in all our LG products as it's the era of the Internet and technology, so web Internet browsing is the basic function in all our products. Compared to this, we focus more on 2D to 3D conversion and on UHD.

What is LG's growth projection for the coming five years?

As Saudi Arabia's economy is at the booming stage, the government has control over the prices, huge surplus of budget, and also on daily basis the purchasing power of the people here is increasing, as well as money cash flow is increasing so with this stable economy LG Electronics will grow very successfully and the growth projection will be very high in the coming five years.

What prospects do you see for the LG brand in the Kingdom in heat of a tough competition?

Competition, however, fierce, is a healthy sign for coming up with innovative products and maintaining high quality with smart features. Brands that maintain their quality and innovation only can survive and brands that do not maintain their quality, standards and innovations don't survive in tough competition.

How LG handles the warranty and after sales service of products in the Kingdom?

LG Electronics, and Mohammad Yousuf Naghi Company, and Ibrahim Shakir, our agents, have doubled the capacity for CIC (customer information service) for after sales service, which is completely authorized and open for 24 hours, also known as quick service. Anyone can call at any time for any service related to products.

What CSR activities LG has planned for 2013?

Like every year, in 2013 also LG Electronics has planned many CSR activities like blood donation camp, Ramadan iftar for orphans, and educating schools by giving LG IT products, as also new courses for deaf in our cooking academy, academy for girls and AC academy for male students, which are very helpful to train students for their future career.

© Arab News 2013


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