Korean electronics giant Samsung today confirmed it was in the final stages of signing a deal with Google to utilise its Android-based software to power its new Internet-connected television sets, but declined to reveal when new sets would become available, Yonhap News reports.
Samsung, which has enjoyed success with its own Smart TV software platform, would provide Google’s revamped TV platform with increased exposure, bringing it to a wider audience following its lacklustre launch in October 2010 which saw device maker Logitech lose a reported $100 million on Revue sales and poor showing in the EMEA region.
Samsung had originally supported the platform, but manufactured set-top boxes instead of bundling it with the televisions’ own software .
Yoon Book-keun, president of Samsung’s digital media business, confirmed earlier reports by noting that the company was in final talks with the search giant, adding that it has not yet decided whether it will showcase its new televisions at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas commencing in January
Samsung joins LG in voicing its support for the new Google TV platform, with LG expected to reveal its own Google-powered sets at the CES trade show, according to a report by Bloomberg. The adoption of the platform would see Samsung compete directly with other Google partners, but also Apple with its own iOS-powered set-top box.
Sony remains the only Google partner to have backed the project since its launch.
It’s an interesting decision by Samsung, a company that has already built its own Smart TV platform. In October, the company announced that it had surpassed 1,000 apps on its Samsung Apps TV store, also noting that it has now facilitated over 10 million downloads since the platform launched. The television-centric app store was reported to be handling around 50,000 downloads each day, as its users began to realise the potential of third-party tools and services that can extend the capabilities of their TVs.
The adoption of Google’s Android-powered platform demonstrates Samsung’s continued support for the Linux-based platform, software that powers its most popular smartphone devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S II. Developers and vendors are encouraged to create their own apps and services to extend the platform, making money from downloads in the process.