How the 3D smartphone boom went bust
It was just two years ago that LG Electronics took the wraps off the LG Optimus 3D, which the manufacturer called "a stunning super-smartphone with unparalleled 3D performance." The timing seemed right: The device was released at the height of the consumer frenzy around 3D TVs, which came a little more than a year after 3D film Avatar broke box office records, spurring a rush of 3D films and interest in the technology.
Yet two years later, the Optimus 3D looks less like a herald for an era of 3D smartphones and more like a cautionary tale of carriers and OEMs putting too much emphasis too soon on a still-developing technology. Other 3D smartphones followed, including HTC's Evo 3D, yet analysts and even carrier and handset representatives agree that the 3D content ecosystem was not strong enough to support continued development of 3D phones. "Wide 3D acceptance is still some years away," said Dr. Henry Nho, LG's chief research engineer and the lead engineer on its Optimus 3D and Optimus 3D Max phones. Special Report