Samsung working on unifying software platform for mobile phones and TV’s

Posted on October 21, 2010

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Samsung, as has been reported, is one of the few companies with global reach and vertical manufacturing in electronics. Keep a watch on what Samsung is doing, it will have an impact on hardware and, critically the software operating systems that these form factors will use (have you looked at Bada lately?).

(Reuters) – Samsung Electronics is developing a joint software platform for use on its cellphones and televisions, hoping wider audience attracts more developers to use its products.

“We have a plan to have a single platform for Samsung TV and phones,” Kyungsik Kevin Lee, vice president at Samsung’s Visual Display Division, told Reuters in an interview.

Lee said he could not estimate when the platform would be ready as developers were still working on it.

In addition to Samsung only its local rival LG Electronics and Japan‘s Sony Corp, through its handset venture Sony Ericsson, are in a position to combine the two audiences.

“There is a small number of companies positioned to do this, of course, and all have holes in their stories, whether geographically, in product terms, or in terms of engaging developer communities,” said analyst John Jackson from research firm CCS Insight.

“The strategic premise is that by doing this you can position yourself to participate in the revenue streams generated by the services that run on your platform,” Jackson said.

Samsung’s Lee said the Korean firm expects its sales of smart TV’s — high-end TV sets which can be used also for Internet access — to reach around 5 million sets this year, and to more than double in 2011.

There are only a few other companies that can effectively straddle the line between mobile phones and home entertainment, including Samsung’s South Korean rival LG and Sony Ericsson, which counts Japan’s Sony as one of its parents. LG is already trying to merge the two realms.

LG has said said its Optimus 7 phone, running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform, will allow users to share DLNA content across multiple platforms (say, for instance, an LG TV). The feature will be pre-installed on the device, and will allow users to share content from the phone’s media galleries without starting another application. Users also can share content to other devices within a specified WiFi zone.

Other companies are trying to capitalize on this covergence. Motorola  has dropped clues about what kind of products it might produce from the combination of its handset unit and its set-top box division, which will be spun off early next year as a separate publicly traded company, Motorola Mobility.

The company filed a trademark application over the summer for something called “Family Room” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that strongly hints at media sharing products. Little is known about the proposed product, but according to the filing it is described as cellular phone software that will allow users to share digital content, including calendars, photo albums and music, and might be cloud-based.

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Posted in: Samsung