Korean firm to unveil Internet-enabled TV set on Android platform
LG Electronics plans to roll out its new Google TV for the U.S. market on May 17, strengthening its alliance with the U.S.-based software giant, according to an LG executive.
Ro Seog-ho, executive vice president of the firm’s TV business unit, said it will finish producing the 47-inch and 55-inch 3-D capable TV sets running on Google’s upgraded Android platform 2.0 next week and have it ready for U.S. consumers in the week of May 21.
“The new Google TV will be released beginning in the U.S. market with the completion of manufacturing in its Mexico plant slated for May 17,” said Ro in an interview with a pool of reporters.
|A model shows LG Electronics’ new Google TV at an electronics trade show in Las Vegas in January. (LG Electronics)|
According to the company’s plan, it will display the new TV set in New York through U.S. retail giant Best Buy with plans to expand into other regions like Europe and Brazil. However, it is still uncertain whether LG’s Google TV will be launched in Korea.
Together with the new TV set, the company will also feature a gesture-based remote controller which comes with a QWERTY keyboard. The firm’s Google TV was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in January.
The move to roll out the new TV later this month indicates that LG Electronics will become the first to launch the new second generation of Internet-enabled Google TVs, a move expected to be followed by other industrial giants such as Samsung Electronics, Sony and Vizio. It is also seen as a move for California-based Google to widen its alliance to fight the forthcoming Apple TV.
Sony and Logitech previously unveiled Google TVs in the retail market last year, but ended up seeing disappointing sales with its initial partner Logitech later abandoning the technology.
As a result, Google is hoping that LG, the world’s second-largest TV maker, will boost its presence in the TV industry and increase sales with its value-added features like the 3-D function.
Backed by its 3-D enabled smart TVs and the new Google TV, LG plans to take up more than 25 percent of the global 3-D TV market this year. The company has already recorded the No. 1 position in five countries, including Brazil and Mexico in the first quarter of this year.
In the meantime, analysts here gave mixed views for the to-be-featured Google TV of LG Electronics.
“It’s a positive factor that LG is forming a close relationship with Google on top of news that the firm will become the third firm to manufacture the next Nexus smartphone,” said Noh Geun-chang, a senior analyst at HMC Securities. “Not just looking at the Google TV, the stronger partnership between the two indicates that Google has acknowledged LG’s technology and accepted the Korean firm as its partner.”
On the other hand, Kim Uno, senior analyst at Hanwha Securities, maintained a negative view on the launch of the Internet-enabled smart TV, stating that the global TV market is highly saturated and unable to produce increased demand.
“The TV makers are manufacturing the Google TV to create added value onto their premium TV sets, but I believe a limit exists considering the TV replacement rate,” he said, adding that the industry may see a downturn ― going into the minus range in terms of growth ― this year or the next.
By Cho Ji-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘LG전자 구글TV 5월 17일에 나온다’
LG전자는 오는 17일 미국에 출시 할 구글TV를 선보일 예정이라고 7일 밝혔다.
LG전자의 노석호 TV사업부문 전무는 올해 구글TV의 첫 모델인 3D기능까지 겸비한 자사의 TV를 다음 주 17일 양산 완료하여 21일께 미국 소비자들에게 내놓겠다고 말했다.
그는 “새로운 구글 TV를 멕시코 공장에서 17일 생산완료 할 예정”이라고 전했다.
LG전자는 베스트 바이 (Best Buy)를 통해 뉴욕에서 구글 TV를 처음으로 출시한 뒤 추후 유럽과 남미 브라질과 같은 지역에 구글 TV를 출시할 것으로 알려졌다. 그러나 구글 TV의 국내 출시는 아직 미정이다.
이와 함께, LG전자는 모션인식이 가능한 QWERTY 키보드도 함께 선보일 예정이다. LG의 구글TV는 지난 1월 라스베가스에서 열린 세계 최대 규모 가전쇼인 CES에서 공개된 바 있다.
LG전자의 구글 TV 출시는 양사간의 협력 강화라는 면에서 더 큰 의미가 있다. LG전자는 최근 삼성에 이어 구글의 전략 스마트폰인 넥서스를 제조할 가능성에 대해서도 언급한 바 있다.