Samsung, LG to Launch Google TV Next Year

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the world's two biggest TV makers, are expected to launch Google TV next year.

Running on Google's software platform, the smart TV will allow users to watch videos via the Internet and run applications in the same way they use them on computers and smartphones.

As Apple is also planning to release a smart TV, tentatively named the iTV, another battle between the two U.S. giants is expected to take place in the TV market, adding to their rivalry in smartphone operating systems.

Electronics makers are now building smart TVs using their own operating systems that offer relatively simple functions, but Google and Apple are planning to upgrade these to such a level that TVs will be able to give PCs a run for their money.

Yoon Boo-keun, chief of Samsung's TV division, said Tuesday that the company is in final talks with Google about when to release the hot new gadget. "We will announce the launch date at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January," he said.

Samsung presented a prototype of Google TV at last year’s CES. The Google TV manufactured by Japan's Sony in October of last year was largely ignored by consumers because it did not offer enough novelty from existing smart TVs and featured a complicated interface.

The U.S. search giant recently introduced the Google TV 2.0 update, which runs the Honeycomb variant of Android and features TV-optimized apps and retooled YouTube channels. Sony will also release upgraded models of the TV.

LG has finished developing its Google TV and is mulling when to release it.

Samsung accounts for 22.6 percent of the global market in terms of sales, while LG holds 13.6 percent. TV makers plan to diversify their line-ups by producing Google TVs in addition to their own offerings.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 23, 2011 11:12 KST