Steve Job’s dream of an integrated television with internet connection and simple user interface is “nothing new” according to Samsung, who already has similar products on the market.
While the illusive Apple television remains lodged somewhere between our imagination and Sir Jony Ive’s design studio, a whole range of ‘Smart’ TVs has taken CES by storm, with Samsung leading the trend.
“When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space,” Philip Newton, director of audiovisual for Samsung Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Do we see them as a threat, not specifically no,” Newton continued. “Probably we’ll have some competitors that may suffer … but we see it as a great opportunity, the more big name brands that get involved in smart the better off we are as a brand because we know we can lead it.”
The late Apple co-founder and CEO was reported in his biography – written by Walter Isaacson – as saying he had “cracked” the next-generation television, causing speculation to mount that Apple was developing a new kind of television that would link up with the company’s other products.
But while an Apple television remains nothing more than rumours and speculation, Samsung, LG and other have used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to showcase their latest ‘Smart’ TVs, which are capable of browsing the internet, playing games such as Angry Birds, and accessing a huge amount of online digital content.
Newton continued: “It’s old new as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.”
Samsung and LG both announced a second generation of Smart TVs at CES that can be controlled by voice commands and gestures; this will undoubtedly be monitored with interest by Apple, which is tipped to be using the voice activated assistant Siri to control its television.
Although not officially attending – as usual – Apple is believed to have sent up to 250 employees to CES, presumably to get a close look at the competition before announcing its own television, which the tech world is expecting towards the end of 2012.