Apple executives who saw Samsung’s display of raw TV power yesterday at CES must by now be having second thoughts about entering the TV market.Samsung’s split screen OLED TVs, which let two people watch a separate program from the same OLED display screen wearing special glasses, and their stunning F8000 Ultra High Definition TV, which sets a new benchmark for TV design, must have been of concern for Apple.
The inclusion of quad core processors and a new Smart Hub interface that looks as sleek and clean as any Apple interface has got to have been noticed by Apple executives who are desperate to find a way into the brutally competitive TV market.
The bigger threat for Apple is that Samsung is growing fast, not just in the TV market but in the smartphone and PC market where they witnessed 50% growth last year.
This delivers for Samsung a global audience of customers who are hungry for content spanning applications, music and movies. While iTunes is a success right now, Apple will come under threat as brands like Samsung start to deliver a direct association with consumers who own Samsung devices capable of gobbling up millions of content downloads a day.
For Hollywood studios the technology inside a Samsung or LG TV, tablet or smartphone is a means by which they can reach consumers bypassing the need to deal with a Foxtel, TV station or set top box manufacturer.
For carriers like Telstra or Optus, who are desperate to get a foothold in the content market, the outlook is looking bleak. While they can deliver broadband directly to a device they still cannot control which device they are delivering it to unless it is on their network.
The future is shaping up to be one whereby a manufacturer like Samsung or LG has a direct relationship with a carrier and a content Company and this is where Apple is set to struggle as their footprint is still small when you take into account that Samsung is selling 500 devices for every minute of the day.
At the same time carriers despise Apple because they have been arrogant and have used the carriers to get their products into the market with little return for a carrier or even a retailer.
Inside the new range of Samsung and LG TVs released at this year’s CES show are quad core processors, apps support, Internet connectivity over wireless, social networking, and voice and gesture navigation, even before you get to their Smart TV and Smart Hub interfaces.
During their CES presentation Samsung pointed out that they shipped 40 percent more connected devices during the last quarter than did Apple.
The Galaxy S III is now the world’s best-selling smartphone and for Apple this has got to be of concern as Samsung by the day gets stronger and stronger.
Currently Apple is banking on cutting a deal with Sharp for high end display technology, but their run could be too late.
They are also facing pressure from content providers who are now getting more bang for their investment from users running devices on the Android OS.
Apple’s attempts to sign content providers and subscription TV companies like Foxtel for television are struggling if not extinct. People in the TV industry make a lot of cash through advertising and they don’t necessarily want to share that money with up-and-coming technology firms like Apple.
Samsung and LG already have strong relationships with Google and if anything this will get stronger as brands start to deliver YouTube TV.
Google has been working to make YouTube something more than just a destination for user-submitted content. They are building relationships with Hollywood studios, while also making investments in content creation. They are introducing AirPlay-like features so you can stream content from your Android device to connected televisions.
These are early days at CES but it is not looking good for Apple.