LG Electronics Develops U.S. Mobile TV GPS Technology
LG Electronics Develops U.S. Mobile TV GPS Technology (Update1)
By Kevin Cho
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- LG Electronics Inc., South Korea's second-largest electronics maker, said it developed technology that may encourage U.S. consumers to watch digital television programs on mobile phones, laptops and car navigation systems.
The Mobile Pedestrian Handheld technology will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas starting tomorrow, Kim Gyeong Whan, a spokesman at Seoul-based LG, said today by telephone. Portable devices equipped with MPH chips can display live TV broadcasts in cars traveling as fast as 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour, according to LG.
The technology is cheaper to adopt than rival systems because it lets stations use existing airwaves, LG said. The company estimates the North American mobile TV market will expand 33 percent to $3.2 billion next year after growing 50 percent in 2008 as federal law requires U.S. broadcasters to convert to digital transmissions by February 2009.
``This could be positive for LG but it's not a big deal for its earnings and fundamentals,'' said S.R. Kwon, who has a ``buy'' recommendation on LG Electronics shares as an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co. in Seoul. ``Mobile TV is only a small part of the digital TV market.''
LG, which invested about 7 billion won ($7.5 million) since 2006 to develop the technology, said MPH may spur sales of mobile phones, car navigation systems, notebook computers and receiver chips if MPH is chosen as a standard for mobile TV in the U.S.
The South Korean company invited about 100 officials from broadcasters and mobile-phone operators to attend the demonstration at CES, LG said in an e-mailed statement this week.
LG demonstrated MPH to U.S. broadcasters last April and has worked with Harris Corp., the biggest U.S. maker of TV transmitters, to refine the technology, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. The technology, which LG plans to begin selling next year, resolves technological obstacles that hindered the U.S. digital standard from being adopted worldwide, the Journal said.
Profit at LG Electronics, Asia's second-largest maker of mobile phones, is poised to rise 63 percent to 1.56 trillion won this year, according to the average of 23 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company last month forecast that its handset shipments will increase about 25 percent to 100 million units in 2008.
The company's shares have gained 15 percent in the past three months, compared with the 6.6 percent decline in South Korea's benchmark Kospi stock index.
No. 3 TV Maker
LG ranked third in global TV sales during the third quarter, lagging behind Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp., according to Austin, Texas-based research firm DisplaySearch.
The Consumer Electronics Show, which debuted in 1967, this year features products or presentations from 2,700 companies and keynotes from chief executives of Intel Corp., Comcast Corp., Yahoo! Inc. and General Motors Corp. Products unveiled at CES in past years include the camcorder, CD player, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video-game system and Internet TV. An estimated 140,000 attendees will be in Las Vegas this week for the event.