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LG will no longer release smartphones on a yearly schedule

For years, LG has released flagship smartphones in tandem with Samsung, but its devices have consistently played second fiddle. Now, LG's Vice Chairman Cho Sung-jin has confirmed a significant strategy shift at the company. LG will no longer launch phones in the G and V series on a set yearly schedule. Instead, it'll launch phones "when it is needed."

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Even more Google Assistant speakers are on their way, from the likes of Anker, B&O, and Klipsch

According to Google, the company has been selling Home speakers at a rate of more than one per second since the Home Mini was released late last year. That's an incredible statistic, and it doesn't even take into account Assistant speakers from third-parties that have been available since last fall. Last year, we learned about devices from Mobvoi, Panasonic, Sony, and Anker's Zolo sub-brand. They were clearly the tip of the iceberg.

CES 2018 in Las Vegas has been awash with new Assistant products as Google takes the fight to Amazon's Alexa. Even the monorail has been taken over by Assistant branding.

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LG Pay reportedly launching in the US by June, will work on upcoming LG phones

According to an article yesterday published by Yonhap News Agency, LG is reportedly releasing its LG Pay service in the US by June. The report also claims that LG's upcoming G7 and V40 handsets will accompany the launch. For the unfamiliar, LG Pay service will enable users to make payments with supported LG devices on normal credit card readers, similar to the MST used by Samsung.

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LG turns a $343 million profit for Q4 2017 in early reports

LG quietly let it be known today that they will emerge from the fourth quarter of 2017 with a $343.2 million profit and that they expect a yearly profit increase of 84.5% over 2016.

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[Update: Removed] Broken LG Wallet/Pay app hits Play Store, is said to only work on nonexistent G7

Last year, LG made it clear that it intended to enter the mobile payments space, and in June it jumped in, releasing the service on its recent G6. At the time, it was called LG Pay. But just today, LG released—perhaps accidentally—a confusing new LG Wallet app to the Play store, and the app listing mentions the G7.

This app seems to have something of a split personality, with the listing and in-app header being named "LG Wallet," but with the app icon, boot animation, and a FAB in screenshots titled "LG Pay." Presumably, the two names are being used by LG interchangeably.

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LG allegedly rebranding its G-series of phones, won't be calling next flagship 'LG G7'

LG's been using the Gx naming scheme for a couple of years now, starting with the Optimus G in 2012 and continuing with the G2 in 2013, the G3 in 2014, and so on. The latest G-series phone, the G6, was launched in early 2017, meaning that it's due for a refresh. But according to a company official, LG won't be using that branding for the G6's successor, instead opting for something new.

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LG's next OLED and SUPER UHD TVs will have Google Assistant in some countries

In the TV segment, LG has a great leg up Samsung's. Its OLED TVs have been praised for many years for their excellent displays and beautiful colors. Now LG is taking another step toward improving its product lineup by introducing ThinQ AI. ThinQ has been the company's smart home brand for a few years already, starting with the SmartThinQ Hub and ending recently with the announcement of the ThinQ speaker with Google Assistant.

But let's start with the visual aspects first. The 2018 lineup of OLED TVs from LG will use a new α (Alpha) 9 processor which promises richer colors, better sharpness, and more realism, whereas the 2018 portfolio of SUPER UHD TVs will have Nano Cell Full-Array Local Dimming for deeper blacks, better shadows, and an image quality that tries to push even closer to OLED.

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LG announces 'Raspberry Rose' V30 for CES

The LG V30 was somewhat of a mixed bag. While the hardware and design is excellent, the high price and questionable display quality made it a hard sell for many. LG seems to think a new color option might convince a few buyers, so it has been working on a 'Raspberry Rose' model. The new color will be shown off at CES later this month.

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LG announces Chromecast-enabled soundbar and Assistant speaker

Just having things around that make sound isn't good enough anymore. If your speakers can't stream from the internet or tell you the answer to "life, the universe, and everything" then why even have them? LG has announced two new speakers that check all the boxes. The SK10Y soundbar has Chromecast support, and the LG ThinQ Speaker is powered by Assistant.

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LG partners with former Nokia property HERE for autonomous vehicle information systems

LG Electronics announced a partnership today with HERE Technologies to create a new platform for self-driving cars' navigation systems and onboard sensors. The two companies plan to offer a "next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles," combining the considerable digital mapping and navigation expertise of HERE with LG's communications technologies.

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