Samsung Considering Using Google Android OS On Its HDTVs

Jonathan Sutton

Samsung may implement the Google Android operating system on the company’s future HDTV sets, which will allow users to access a variety of movies, music, games and applications directly on the TVs via broadband internet connection, according to a Bloomberg report originating from Seoul, Korea.

Already the world’s number one TV manufacturer, Samsung is seeking to maintain or even grow its market share by catering to increasing consumer demand for internet-enabled TVs (IETVs), “connected TVs” or “smart TVs”, and fending off competition from rival brands such as Panasonic, Sony and LG who have also spotted and reacted accordingly to this trend.

The Linux-based Google Android operating system (OS) found on many mobile phones, tablet PCs and netbooks is not new to Samsung. The Korean consumer electronics conglomerate has launched quite a few Android-based smartphones, including the highly praised Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Wave models. At the IFA 2010 expo in Berlin last week, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab – a 7-inch touchscreen tablet powered by Android 2.2 – which directly competes with the Apple iPad.

In a next-generation TV forum held in Seoul, Yoon Boo Keun, president of the visual display business division at Samsung Electronics, revealed that the company is considering using the Google Android OS platform on its HDTVs, but refrained from committing fully when pressed by reporters, saying “we will have to see”.

Apple recently announced a rehaul of its Apple TV set-top box, which will run the company’s iOS (same operating system as iPhone, iTouch and iPad) and allow users access to the iTunes store for streaming movies or downloading apps like games. Search engine giant Google has also been active in this market, partnering with Sony and Intel to develop Google TV, a new Android-based platform that marries the internet with traditional TV to provide a seamless viewing and browsing experience.

Although Samsung has previously been reported to be looking into the viability of incorporating Google TV on their television sets, it remains unclear if this is the route Samsung would take, or the company would simply develop its own interface powered by Google Android.