LG launches new air conditioners

LG Electronics rolled out a lineup of new Whisen air conditioners with the aim of maintaining its lead over home turf rival Samsung Electronics.

The SK air conditioner market with an annual sales volume of around 2.5 million is dominated by LG and Samsung.

Lee Kam-kyu, head of LG’s air conditioner business, confidently said LG sold more than Samsung in 2019 and will solidify its leadership position with its 2020 edition of air conditioners under the Whisen brand.

“The new Whisen air conditioners for 2020 are powered with LG’s superior vacuum cleaner technology, which automatically cleans filters inside the appliance to help consumers maintain the cleanliness of their air conditioners,” Lee said during a press conference in Seoul.

Though it is difficult to figure out the exact market share of LG and Samsung in the air conditioner market here, Lee said LG is selling “slightly more air conditioners than Samsung.”

“We expect the sales volume of the entire air conditioner market in Korea this year will be similar to that of 2019. As far as we know, we sell slightly more air conditioners at LG Bestshop retail stores than the number of air conditioners Samsung sells at its Samsung Digital Plaza retail stores. Also, LG sells more air conditioners than Samsung at home appliance retail stores such as Hi-mart or ET Land,” Lee said.

Predicting that this year’s sales volume of air conditioners for home purpose will be slightly lower due to the economic slowdown, Lee added the summer months which are expected to be hotter than 2019 will offset weak consumer sentiment.

The company started to sell 29 kinds of new floor-standing LG Whisen air conditioners. Inside the device, there is a “Cleanbot,” which automatically cleans out dust filters and consumers are only required to empty the dust can once every six months.

The Cleanbot was first introduced as an air conditioner released under its luxury brand Signature in 2019. “We already introduced an air conditioner that has a similar automatic cleaning feature in the early 2000s, but it seemed too early for the market. But we’ve decided to include the feature again as air conditioners have become an appliance for four seasons,” Lee said.

Additionally, the new air conditioners has an “UVnano” feature, which can kill 99.9 percent of harmful germs on the fan using UV LED light. “The sterilizing ability of the Whisen air conditioners are certified by a Germany-based institute TUV Rheinland and the Korea Testing and Research Institute,” an LG official said.

Equipped with what it calls third-generation artificial intelligence technology, the new air conditioners detect movement of people inside the house and automatically puts the product into eco mode, helping consumers save on electricity bills.

The price of the 2020 Whisen ThinQ air conditioners range from 2.85 million won ($2,456) to 5.4 million won.