You don’t need to wait for Google or Apple to bring apps to your HDTV. Samsung’s been serving up custom-made apps via their connected HDTVs for some time now and just hit the 1 millionth downloaded app. That’s a mighty fine milestone for a platform not heavily discussed or marketed. Impressive, yes, but even so that this mark was hit with only 200 available apps, which seems to state that Samsung knows how to curate and approve quality applications. They seem to have all the big ones: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Twitter, Pandora, Blockbuster, Vudu. There’s even a fine selection of low-cost games although that doesn’t include Angry Birds.
Samsung introduced the connected TV back in 2007, but the apps didn’t debut until CES 2010. Before these apps, on-screen widgets were all the rage, but their functionality was limited along with the selection of apps. Within the last few years Samsung has always been at the top of the sales charts for flat panels, but the company is dominating the web-connected segment with a 66% marketshare according to NPD Group. That’s beating out everyone from Vizio, Sony, and Panasonic with these Samsung Apps estimated to be on 50% the company’s TVs sold in 2010.
So what about that Google TV rumor? Something about Samsung introducing a Google TV-powered HDTV at CES 2011? Possible?
It sounded strange weeks ago when the rumor first appeared and it possible sounds even more out of place after learning about this milestone. Samsung, as stated above, already has a significant chunk of the connected TV marketshare and soon their supposed to launch what amounts to a competing series? It just doesn’t sound right, but it’s still possible. Sony did just that.
Sony also has a line of app-ified HDTVs, but that didn’t stop them from bringing Google TV — without Sony’s app ecosystem — to two separate product lines. The HDTV and Blu-ray player are both heavily marketed, even more though than Sony’s standard line it seems. The Samsung model would likely compete, not with its Samsung brethren, but with the Sony Google TV instead.
Either way, both companies have their own Internet-connected HDTVs to fall back on if the Google TV venture doesn’t get out of first gear. Samsung, it seems, is already racing forward without any help from Google TV.