Manufacturers Challenge Apple, Google Fighting for Dominance

By Susan J. Campbell January 05, 2011

Apple and Google both want a piece of the Internet TV pie, but it seems major TV manufacturers are not interested in stepping aside. According to this Bloomberg report, Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics, Inc., and Cisco Systems, Inc., are planning to unveil applications of their own for Internet programming via TV that do not include Apple or Google.

DisplaySearch, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based industry research firm, predicts that more than half of the TVs sold in 2014 will offer Web service. Electronics makers have pegged television sets as the key to boosting margins and fostering brand loyalty.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung began talking to software developers last year in an effort to create applications for its online store known as Samsung Apps. The store is available on its TVs, Blu-ray players, computers, Galaxy Tab smartphones and tablets.

A number of manufacturers are expected to follow suit with similar announcements and applications stores launching this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Vizio, an Irvine, Calif.-based TV maker, is expected to introduce a new tablet computer and smartphone linked to its application store.

Apple’s strength in the market has been due in part to the hundreds of thousands of applications that are available through the App Store. The extensive offerings have helped to boost sales of the iPad and iPhone and now Apple is hoping to extend this demand with its TV offering.

For its part, Google is also trying to lure product developers to its Google TV platform for Web-enabled devices. In May, the company introduced a custom operating system for Internet TV that will work with the Google Chrome browser. Google TV integrates with Web services such as Netflix to try and improve the audience experience.

Google has already signed Sony Corp. and Logitech International SA as product partners. The company, however, has been blocked from offering shows available at CBS Corp.’s TV.com, the major network’s Web pages, Hulu.com NBC, and ABC.

Ryan McIntyre, managing director of venture capital firm Foundry Group in Boulder, Colo., and former director at Sling Media, now part of EchoStar Corp, told Bloomberg that there is overwhelming evidence that consumers do want a la carte and on-demand streaming of every kind of content. However, there is still a long way to go before the consumer can sit down in front of the TV or computer and have access to the entire world of content in one place.

Moving in this direction offers significant opportunity for some, yet other companies are viewing this as a tremendous threat to their revenue streams. Analysts suggest that until a clear strategy is put in place to make it attractive for all key players, it is likely that adoption will be slow and the battles will continue.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TechZone360 and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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