Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are different from each other in many ways — from corporate philosophy to product management.
A recent visit by Larry Page, Google founder, confirms the difference extends to its top officials.
Page met Lee Jay-yong, Samsung's vice chairman and son of owner Lee Kun-hee. A photo released after their meeting showed Lee with his hand on Page's shoulder, while another showed Lee, Page, Samsung Corporate Strategy Office head Choi Gee-sung and mobile division chief Shin Jong-kyun.
In contrast, LG Electronics CEO Koo Bon-joon kept a low profile in his meeting with Page.
"Larry Page invited Koo for a meeting while he stayed in Seoul last week. They discussed ways to improve their business partnership. The meeting lasted for more than an hour," sources said.
Of course, there is an age gap between Koo and Lee, but that can't adequately explain their different styles. Both are touted as successors to the current company bosses.
The different status of the firms may hold a clue.
Samsung has risen to rival Apple, while LG is behind due to a late start in smartphones, it is pressing ahead hard.
Some sources think Koo had a reason to be less conspicuous, saying the two may have talked about more deals.
Currently, the consumer electronics arm of LG Group is working with Internet-giant Google to make another Nexus-branded Google Android smartphone. LG is seeking to expand its partnership in TVs and future businesses, such as Google Glass
"They exchanged views about the latest mega trend in the global information technology (IT) industry. They also discussed how to form an alliance in futuristic projects as part of the big picture," the sources said.
LG has recently patented a novel method for utilizing head-mounted displays. The patent that was filed in the United States was aimed at developing so-called LG Glass in a move to put more features on its Web-connected TVs.
The meeting comes at a time when the company is seeing a business turnaround on the back of robust sales of its smartphones and TVs. In the first quarter of the year, LG became the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple.
"LG needs help from Google to continue its business momentum in smartphones and TVs. That's why Koo met Page," said the sources.
The sources said the two executives also discussed issues regarding the launch of an LG-Google OLED TV. Currently, Google is partnering with LG to produce Google-enabled sets. LG unveiled the world's first curved OLED TV, Monday.