LG Electronics will begin selling TV sets running Google TV software by the end of the month. Reuters quoting Ro Seogho, LG’s executive vice president for TV business, as saying U.S. customers will be able to buy a Google TV starting May 21. The TVs will be manufactured at LG’s factory in Mexico starting May 17. Though this initial shipment would only be for the U.S., Seogho stated that LG may expand sales to Europe and Asia depending on U.S. sales.
Judging by manufacturers’ willingness to put Google TV on their devices, and Google’s recent support of the software, it appears that Google TV will end up being to connected TVs what Google’s Android is to smartphones. That is, the platform that manufacturers can easily take and build upon to enter the market and ensure that their TV sets have internet capabilities. Also, with rumors of an Apple TV set at a fever-pitch, the TV set market could end up being another front in the iOS vs. Android battle.
It seems odd that hardware manufacturers rely so much on Google for software. However, Apple, and Tivo before them, have shown that designing good software is essential for modern hardware sales. Manufacturers of cable boxes, TVs, and other electronics can no longer hope to succeed using the poor proprietary software that was common just a decade ago.
What do you think? Is Google TV finally becoming viable? Leave a comment below and let us know.