January 12, 2012 11:40
Korean firms are making a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, the world's largest, which opened in Las Vegas on Tuesday and ends Friday. The exhibition booths of Samsung and LG were among those that drew huge crowds leaving barely enough room to move. One particular draw was their slimline OLED TVs.
Japan's Asahi Shimbun said where once the CES was a forum for Japanese manufacturers to unveil their latest TVs, now Korean manufacturers have taken over.
Korean electronics companies are now more concerned about competing with their Chinese rivals. Chinese firms are still copying Korean products, but they have definitely improved. Samsung Electronics top executive Choi Gee-sung said, "When we exhibit a prototype at the CES, Chinese TV maker Hisense copies it and puts it out on the market before us." Samsung unveiled a cutting-edge TV with motion-detection functions, but a similar product is being displayed by Hisense too.
Chinese telecommunications equipment and services company Huawei unveiled the world's slimmest smartphone. The Ascend P1S is just 6.68 mm thick, beating a 7.1 mm Motorola handset. It uses Google's latest Android 4.0 OS and features the latest super AMOLED display, which is the same one used in the Galaxy series of smartphones. Through the new product, Huawei is trying to overcome its image as a maker of cheap phones.
And China's Haier introduced a gimmick called the "Brain Wave TV," which allows viewers to change channels simply by thinking about it. It claims the TV analyzes the brain waves of users and switches channels accordingly. For example, thinking "TV Chosun" 19 times while wearing a helmet that comes with the TV prompts it to shift to that channel.
The model is unsurprisingly not yet ready for mass production but shows how determined Chinese companies are to develop leading technologies. Kim Hyun-jin, an executive at LG Electronics, said, "There were no eye-catching new products unveiled by Japanese companies, while Chinese manufacturers are trying new things."
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