Major TV makers LG Electronics Inc., Royal Philips Electronics and Sharp Corp. agreed to join forces to ramp up applications for Internet-powered televisions, hoping that the expansion of the TV ecosystem would fuel demand for smart TVs, the Korean firm said Thursday.
The three companies from South Korea, the Netherlands and Japan will jointly create software development kits, which will be distributed to third-party developers to write TV applications, according to an LG official.
The announcement was made by the TV makers one day ahead of the start of a massive consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Germany, which is set to begin on Friday for a six-day run.
The move, the first such collaboration in the smart TV sector, came as the TV industry continued to struggle to tide over the global economic slowdown and rising raw material prices, which prompted consumers to delay purchases of costly TVs.
The lackluster consumer demand for TVs in the first half of this year came in sharp contrast to the prospering markets for high-end smartphones and tablet PCs.
The strategic partnership among the three TV vendors is the latest indication that TV makers still believe the success of smart TVs hinges on the replication of the smartphone ecosystem.
Among the reasons for the iPhone‘s global success, some credit its vast ecosystem of developers, consumers and applications that enrich the experience of using the touchscreen smartphone, which is still unmatched by its counterparts in Google Inc.’s Android ecosystem.
While LG, Philips and Sharp will use different operating systems for their smart TVs, the applications that run on their TVs will become interchangeable once they adopt a common technology standard for building applications, according to LG.