A report today says that Samsung will have some GoogleTVs in January, I just don't buy the Intel bit.
As HDTV's drop in price and become commodity items, manufacturers are looking for ways to differentiate their products. One obvious way is to deliver integrated 'SmartTV' functionality. While there are many such platforms out there (Vizio builds their own Vizio Apps and LG has integrated Plex into their products), it appears that GoogleTV (GOOG) may be the most popular (and free) choice for manufacturers.
Sony (SNE) has already jumped on board with GoogleTV BluRay and HDTVs. Samsung is a natural fit to join Sony. Samsung already have a huge investment in Android on their phones and tablets.
Samsung is reportedly readying its own GoogleTV product for a January (CES?) announcement. Interestingly, the report stated that Samsung was "open" to using chips from Intel. I don't buy that.
Details of the plan have yet to be decided, Yoon Boo Keun, head of Samsung's TV business, said in Seoul. The company is "open" to using Intel Corp.'s chips for its TVs, Yoon said.
A few observations:
- If Samsung GoogleTVs are being announced in January, Samsung already has a processor picked out and being tested. Being "open to Intel" is just a way of not answering a question specifically.
- Recent reports have Orions powering Samsung phones due at the beginning of next year.
- GoogleTV runs on Android 2.1 and Android runs really well on Samsung's processors (seen the Galaxy S sales figures?). Samsung's new Dual Core Orion chips, expected in phones in H1 2011 would be a perfect fit. ARM processors are cheaper (especially for Samsung), run cooler (no fans needed) and use much less electricity. Those are also differentiators that consumers can appreciate.
- Apple's (AAPL) AppleTV runs on a Samsung-built ARM Cortex A8 processor that also live inside the iPad and iPhone. Smartphone processors perform very well in smart HDTVs.
- Orion Processors can deliver multiple 1080P video streams and what better way to showcase its new processors than have them in a high end HDTV?
So I don't think Samsung GoogleTVs will use Intel's processors. If they do, however, I think that subsequent GoogleTV's released later will run on Samsung's own ARM chips. Orion with ARM's Mali embedded GPU video embedded below:
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