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LG's G6 to feature Google's voice assistant service: sources

All News 09:49 January 19, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc.'s upcoming G6 smartphones will come with Google Inc. voice assistant service, industry sources said Thursday, as the South Korean company struggles to compete against its rivals.

LG's new flagship models -- to be unveiled next month -- will carry the U.S. tech giant's artificial intelligence (AI) Google Assistant, the sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Both LG and Google have not acknowledged whether the sources are correct.

The sources said LG agreed with Google last year to feature the assistant, and is at the final stage of stabilizing the software before unveiling the model just ahead of the Mobile World Congress show in February.

LG has been making efforts to expand its market share in the global smartphone world dominated by its local rival Samsung Electronics Co. and the U.S. giant Apple Inc.

The two tech firms have been strengthening their AI-assisted voice butler services on their flagship models.

This photo captured from the website of Google Assistant shows the AI-assisted voice butler service. (Yonhap)

iPhone already has its AI voice recognition program, Siri, and Samsung is working on its own smart assistant for the next Galaxy S8, called Bixby.

"Google Assistant will be very helpful for LG Electronics when all other tech firms are showcasing their voice assistant service," said a source not to be named. "The difficult task for LG is whether the service will recognize the Korean language."

The AI-assisted service will allow users to interact with the device by giving voice commands about music, weather information and other information.

However, the companies have not substantiated the claims.

"This is speculation that the company cannot confirm at the moment," an LG official said.

Google also declined to comment on the matter at the moment.

LG earlier said the G6 would be equipped with "heat pipes" for better cooling as part of its efforts to strengthen product safety. It lowers the temperature of the application processor inside a smartphone by some 6-10 percent by dispersing heat and helping prevent excessive heat from reaching the battery cell.

LG said Thursday it will unveil the G6 in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 26, a day before the opening of the mobile show.

LG's G6 (Photo courtesy of LG Electronic Inc.) (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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