LG set to unveil new appliances that can “chat” to you on What’sApp, as its full-year revenues grow

Consumer electronics giant LG has posted an increase in revenues and full-year profits, along with an increase in smartphone shipments, as it prepares to unveil a new feature allowing users to use popular mobile messaging apps, such as What’sApp, to communicate with home appliances.

The group posted overall consolidated revenues of KRW 58.14 trillion ($US53.10 billion) for the full-year of 2013, with operating profits up to KRW 1.28 trillion ($US1.17 billion) from KRW 1.22 trillion ($US1.08 billion).

The company’s smartphone division posted a 29% increase in annual revenues to KRW 12.97 trillion ($US11.85 billion) year-on-year and an 18% increase in fourth-quarter revenues to KRW 3.59 trillion ($US3.38 billion) quarter-on-quarter.

The company cited strong sales of the LG G2 and the Google Nexus 5 for its smartphone shipments increasing to 13.2 million units, an increase of 54% year-on-year.

However, the company’s home electronics division, which produces its TVs, reported a full-year revenue drop of 5% despite higher demand for LCD TVs in North America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

The results came as reports surfaced of a new feature allowing users to use a range of popular mobile messaging apps, including LINE, Kakato Talk and WhatsApp, in order to allow users to message and receive status updates from their home appliances.

The feature will allow users to send a text message to an appliance asking for its status, while the appliance will send any notifications through the messaging app.

According to South Korea’s Electronics Times News, the new feature is set to be unveiled in March, and will be applied across the company’s product line, including in refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and electric ovens.

“Home Chat is much more than just to provide home appliance remote controlling or monitoring function. It allows users to communicate with home appliances,” LG Electronics’ Home Appliances president Jo Seong-jin said.

“We will strive to become the number one home appliances maker in the world by leading smart home appliances market.”

The news comes asZDNet Korea reports that, aside from the new appliance messaging service, the company is planning to announce the successor to its G Pro smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona during March.

The report also claims the successor to its flagship G2 smartphone, dubbed the G3, is expected to be announced in the next few months.

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