SEOUL -- South Korean conglomerate LG Group (IW 1000/87) said Monday it would boost investment in its electronics business by more than 30% in 2013, stepping up its challenge to rival Samsung.

Of a total 20 trillion won (US$18.8 billion) it said had been set aside for investment, 13.4 trillion won is earmarked for LG Electronics, which makes TVs, PCs and smartphones, and LG Display, which makes displays used in everything from TVs to mobile handsets.

The lion's share of the capital will be spent on building ultra-high resolution liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED) display plants, and more advanced smartphone and TV production lines.

OLED technology lets producers make TVs that consume less power while offering a sharper picture than conventional flat panels, and is expected to be the dominate the market for years to come.

Last week, LG Electronics began accepting pre-orders for a TV that features an OLED display, in the world's first commercial sales of such TV sets.

Samsung Electronics aims to start sales of its own OLED TVs later this year, although OLED displays are already used on its popular Galaxy S and Note smartphones.

Struggling TV giants Sony and Panasonic also teamed up last year to jointly develop OLED panels in a bid to catch up with the South Korean competitors.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013