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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: