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July 16, 2024

XR partnership between LG, Meta falls through

PUBLISHED : May 20, 2024 - 16:41

UPDATED : May 20, 2024 - 16:41

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LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan speaks to reporters after meeting with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at LG Twin Towers on February 28. (Yonhap)

The partnership between LG Electronics and Meta for developing an extended reality device has fallen through, as their joint work turned out to be “less-than-anticipated,” according to industry sources Monday.

LG Electronics is still expected to launch its XR device next year as planned, and will likely look for a new partner for the development of a new operating system and software for the device.

The two tech giants forged their ties in February when Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan met in person for the first time in Seoul.

Over lunch, the two discussed the direction of next-generation XR device collaboration and the possibility of future collaboration surrounding artificial intelligence development.

During their meeting, the two also discussed using Meta’s large language model LLaMA in their collaboration, Cho told reporters at the time.

Two months into their collaboration, the two companies found differences in their direction to their joint XR project, and LG first requested to end their partnership, according to sources here.

LG Electronics did not provide a comment.

LG was expected to benefit from using Meta's various content sources and its know-how as one of the first tech giants to launch a virtual reality headset in 2016. Meta also has its XR operating system Horizon. Meta would have expanded its influence in the XR market taking advantage of LG's brand power and expansive sales network.

If their joint project were to go as planned, LG and Meta's smart headset was expected to launch in 2025, at a price of about $2,000. This is twice the price of the current Meta Quest Pro, and cheaper than Apple's Vision Pro which was launched early this year in the US at $3,500.

Now, LG is reportedly looking for a new partner. Among the next potential candidates is Amazon. Amazon operates Amazon Prime, its over-the-top service, and has access to, and handling of numerous media contents.

LG has been considering commercializing XR devices for several years. It recently launched a team under its TV business unit which is dedicated to XR technology development.

For its XR goal, the company also launched a team under its TV business unit dedicated to XR technology development and has been hiring experts in the field.

The global XR market is forecast to grow rapidly in the coming years. According to market tracker Counterpoint Research, the shipment unit of XR headsets is expected to reach 3.9 million this year, manifesting a double-digit growth rate from last year.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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