Google Going Solo
On June 25, Google unveiled its new Android TV at the Google I/O Conference centering on Google developers, confirming a rumor that anticipated changes in the future of the electronics marketplace. Contrary to the previous Google TV, Android TV received positive reviews for its user convenience and increased content partnerships. Yet, by failing to collaborate with Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the world’s leading first and second TV giants, an inevitable struggle is expected.
According to Google and international press on June 29, the development of Android TV was based on the brand new “Android L” operating system, which is expected to be released in fall this year. The L stands for lollipop.
Android TV is expected to make its first appearance at The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES2015) held in the U.S., the world’s biggest electronics show, in January next year. Google reported that Android TV will be released through Sony, Sharp, and TP Vision in 2015.
It is noteworthy that Google TV’s reliable partner, LG Electronics, is not on their list of partners. Google made partnership with LG Electronics in 2010 by entering into the TV industry. LG Electronics, which was competing against Samsung Electronics in Smart TVs at that time, also strategically made an alliance with Google. However, Google’s lack of experience in the field of television led Google TV to be a failure in their attempts to adapt smartphone functions into TV, turning away consumers.
At the same time, LG revolutionized their market strategy by independently launching their own Smart TV after taking over HP’s webOS in 2013. In March this year, LG Electronics has received positive responses to their smart TV adopting webOS. By adopting 70 percent of their smart TVs with webOS, its focus on webOS has turned Google from partner to competitor.
Google fell through in partnering with Samsung for Smart TV, although they gained success in a partnership for smartphones and wearable devices. Samsung Electronics held a surprise release of “Gear Live” adopting “Android Wear.” It is likely that Samsung cannot ignore the influence of Android in the wearable market, though it has installed its own unique platform “Tizen” on the “Samsung Gear.” Yet Samsung did not choose to partner with Google in the Smart TV industry.
The new Android TV has been acclaimed to achieve some improvement in comparison to Google TV, a previous failure. A war in the living room between the world’s biggest TV maker Samsung Electronics and Google seems unavoidable.
Android TV expanded its chipset partnership from Intel to Qualcomm and Ndivia among others. Rich content is anticipated with various content-related partnerships ranging from Google’s own services including Youtube, Hangout, Google Play, as well as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora. Android TV had also partnered with LG U+ and France’s SFR. It also supports functions for games.
What’s more, the “Google Cast” allows the TV to play videos on smartphones and tablet PCs, while features such as voice search and smartphone app sync are built in.