Is the portable 3D buzz starting to die down? First Nintendo’s 3DS system gets off to a rocky start, and now LG, who have pushed hard for glasses-free portable 3D this year with their LG Optimus 3D handset, have lowered their expected smartphone sales for 2011.
Sitting alongside this years dual-core Optimus 2X, the Optimus 3D and the rest of LG’s smartphone catalogue had initially been expected to shift around 30 million units, according to the company’s forecasts. That number has however dropped significantly to 24 million now, a decline in expected fortunes of around a fifth from their smartphone division.
As such, the company has now re-calculated its overall mobile phone sales (which includes budget handsets and feature phones), dropping that down to 114 million from a once-lofty 150 million. Only managing to shift just under 50 million mobile phones in the first half of the year, it was unlikely that even the lucrative Christmas market boom would have seen them hit 150 million handset sales.
“Our overall performance is gradually improving … but it’s difficult to give a precise prediction when our business will turn around due to a fast changing external market environment,” said Park Jong-Seok, head of LG’s handset division.
LG took a big gamble with being both the first company to bring a dual core and a 3D smartphone to the market, and while the former of those innovations is proving lucrative to some rivals (see Samsung’s Galaxy S II) it hasn’t proved so for LG, whose handset received middling reviews thanks to rushed, buggy software in spite of the hardware’s obvious potential.
3D on the other hand, as seen in the Optimus 3D, still just doesn’t ignite consumer’s interests in the way manufacturers expect it to. With the launch of glasses-free 3D products like LG’s smartphone (not to mention their 3D tablet) and Nintendo’s new console, 2011 looked set to be the year when 3D would finally take off, but if these pessimistic smartphone forecasts are anything to go by, the technology still is doing little to capture consumer’s interests, nor is expected to dramatically bolster LG’s coffers.