Initially, I had the same reaction about Eric Schmidt’s Google TV comments that everyone else did. Schmidt stated at the Le Web Conference in Paris, “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” Initially I joked that Google would have to give TV sets away to make this come true. It seemed like a ridiculous claim given the trials and tribulations of Google TV. The consensus is that Eric Schmidt is crazy.
Then it occurred to me! Google is giving away the software! But, just like Android for phones, Google is willing to give the software away to TV manufacturers. In a world of declining TV sales and margins that’s music to their ears. Yes, Samsung and LG have developed their own TV app stores and software (which have not been run away hits). But why continue to invest in something when someone wants to give it to you? There’s nothing stopping Samsung and LG from adapting their current app stores to work with Google TV.
Here’s the other part that folks missed: Who are the top TV manufacturers? If you look at it worldwide, Samsung is at the top of the heap according to DisplaySearch. In the US market, Vizio was the top dog for LCDs in 2010. Between them, Samsung and Vizio control a good part of the US market (and Sony already makes a Google TV). Now, everyone seems to be forgetting that both Samsung and Vizio announced plans to roll out Google TV at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. The head of Samsung’s TV division has already stated they are in late stage talks to release a Google TV. Of course, the products were not released this year but that was the right move given the poor user experience offered by Google TV 1.0.
I’m not saying that Google TV doesn’t have a tough road ahead, I’m just saying that Eric Schmidt isn’t crazy. With the threat of an Apple HDTV in 2012, I think Google and TV manufacturers are motivated. CES 2011 is only a few weeks and companies have a pretty good idea at this point what they’re announcing as does Eric Schmidt. So, who’s the crazy one now?
|Google TV is Coming!|