Samsung Eyeing Google TV and Android for it's Connected and Smart TVs

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Bloomberg is reporting that Samsung’s TV head Yoon Boo Keun told the Korean press today that Samsung may use Google's Android platform.

However, it's not the first time Samsung has tipped the press that they 'might' do something with Google. Way back in May, a Samsung executive told the Korean Herald:

“We are considering (developing) Google TVs. We are examining the business feasibility of Google TVs and the company will decide whether to develop Android-based TVs after details about Google TVs are available."

Another  unnamed company spokesperson added that the company is studying Google TVs, and will watch market developments first.

Back in May 2010,  Chun Seung-hoon, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities, said:

Samsung’s Google TV is plausible, given that Google’s Android is an open platform. “There is no problem for Samsung to produce Google TVs.”

However, he added:

"...the hardware manufacturer faces the risk of losing its control over the TV market to Google, a software firm, should it make Google TVs."

What's different now? It's not an unnamed source.

“We will have to see, but we are reviewing” whether to use Google’s Android operating system, Yoon Boo Keun, head of Samsung’s TV business, told reporters today on the sidelines of a forum in Seoul. "A key question is whether South Korean movie, TV and music providers will cooperate with Google."

Samsung is in a tough spot here, if Google TV takes off, Sony will gain large market share in the connected TV space - which Samsung currently dominates with it's own TV application ecosystem, which gives them huge control over content.

And Samsung is already using Google's open source Android to power its Galaxy devices to rival Apple’s iOS devices - so there is some synergy.

Samsung has it's own mobile operating system called Bada as well and is developing another operating system that can be used for both phones and TVs, Yoon said.

Wired Magazine also covered the announcement:

Steve Jobs has attributed the iPod’s and iPhone’s success to Apple’s ability to write better software than the entrenched Asian consumer tech companies. Now that Korean giant Samsung has Google’s Android OS, they don’t have to write better software than Apple to stay successful; they just have to make compelling devices. On the heels of Apple TV and Sony’s partnership role in Google TV, Samsung’s next Android-powered devices may be a line of net-connected, software-driven HDTVs.


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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