Korea’s tech powerhouse Samsung is out to dominate the consumer electronics world. It already is the largest flat panel TV maker, the leader in liquid crystal display TVs, and the leading manufacturer of computer monitors.
Now Samsung wants to get control of the emerging market for TV-based Internet applications. Recognizing the success of Apple’s App Store, today Samsung is holding a TV Developer Day in San Jose “to support and educate developers as they start engaging in the burgeoning TV apps marketplace.” It’s offering $500,000 in cash prizes for Smart TV apps. One of the keynote speakers at the event: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.[more]
Kyungshik Lee, a Samsung VP, tells the Wall Street Journal that Samsung is building its own library of applications “as a way to differentiate the company’s electronics products from those of rivals.” He hopes its first ever TV Developer Day will “encourage developers to write more apps, especially video streaming apps, which he predicts will be the most popular among consumers.”
Samsung wants to be the leader in bringing apps to the TV, because the market is already heating up. Competitor Sony plans to use Google TV in its upcoming televisions that integrate the Internet, and Apple’s set-top product, Apple TV, is expected to eventually run web applications.
While most consumers buy televisions today with the intention of getting their content via cable or satellite, “that could change over time if Samsung and others are successful at attracting more mainstream sources of video to create apps that deliver their content over the Internet,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Televisions with Internet applications aren’t Samsung’s only interest in emerging technologies. Already number 2 in mobile phones, the company is also working on the launch of a product to rival the iPhone, the Galaxy S smartphone, which will be available by the end of 2010 through 125 mobile networks in 90 countries, including all major U.S. carriers.
The Galaxy S uses the Android operating system as well as a Samsung-invented technology to help sharpen the phone’s 4-inch screen in sunlight. Song Myung Sup, senior analyst with Korea’s HI Investment & Securities, tells Bloomberg that the Galaxy S “can compete with iPhone 4 among all the smartphones.”
Samsung will also compete head-on with Apple’s iPad when it launches an Android-based tablet PC, the Galaxy Pad, sometime in September.