LG PLANS TO LAUNCH GOOGLE TV LATE MAY
- LG Electronics Inc, the world's No.2 TV maker, plans to launch Internet-enabled TV based on Google's platform in the United States in the week of May 21, as the South Korean firm seeks to gain a larger share of the emerging Internet TV market, a senior LG executive said on Monday, May 7, Reuters reported.
The move reflects an aggressive push by the duo to defend against a potential threat from Apple Inc, which reshaped the handset market with its iPhone smartphone and is widely expected to unveil a full-fledged TV product later this year or early next year.
"Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 from our factory in Mexico and U.S. consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of May 21," Ro Seogho, executive vice president of LG's TV business unit, told a small group of reporters.
Google TV allows viewers to access Google services such as searches and YouTube videos on their television screens.
Ro said LG will decide whether to expand the offering to Europe and Asia after reviewing sales performance in the U.S. market.
LG gave no shipment target or details of prices or screen sizes.
Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates the global Internet-enabled TV market will grow nearly 60 percent this year to 95 million sets, far outpacing the TV market overall, which is expected to expand by just 2 percent.
The second version of Internet TV by Google, which hopes to replicate the success of its Android mobile software in the TV market, comes after its previous model, unveiled in 2010, failed to catch on with consumers.
Google's attempt to capture the living room audience has seen limited success so far due to a lack of web content or support from hardware manufacturers.
TV manufacturers from LG to its bigger rival Samsung Electronics Co have their own Internet-enabling TV platforms and are aggressively pushing their own technologies, along with Google TV, to gain the initiative and prop up margins with high-end products amid growing competition from low-cost producers.
LG plans to fit around 60 percent of its TVs with its own NetCast platform installed, to allow viewers access to the Internet, social networking and online games as well as LG's own TV applications.
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