Samsung is reportedly working on a new platform that will power both its mobile phones and TVs. Details on the underlying OS are sparse as the platform is still under development with no target launch date. Presumably this is a proprietary OS (Bada-based?) built from the ground up by Samsung but Android would be a nice possibility as Samsung already produces several high-end Android handsets which would tie in well with a Google-powered television.
Samsung is one of only a few handset manufacturers, the others being LG and Sony, in the unique position of being able to develop a software architecture that powers both devices and can tie its handsets closely to its line of TVs. Not only would a hybrid platform drive customers to buy more Samsung products, a unified platform for mobile phones and TVs allows Samsung to offer services that run on both devices. Properly positioned services can generate revenue, which is presumably the impetus for this project.
Sony and its joint mobile division Sony Ericsson is already in a position to compete with Samsung when the Korean company’s new platform makes its way to mainstream devices. Sony recently launched its new Internet TV, a model that is powered by GoogleTV and offers search, web browsing, online video streaming, and more through this Android-based platform. Sony Ericsson is committed to developing Android handsets and could tie its phones into its TVs using custom applications based upon Google’s mobile OS. Sony has the jump on Samsung and the power of Android behind it which makes it a formidable opponent.
As Internet-based TV explodes and device convergence becomes the next big thing, look for other manufacturers to follow suit. LG could easily follow Sony Ericsson’s lead and integrate its Android handsets with its line of Google TVs-powered TVs. HTC could sign deals with other TV manufacturers such as Panasonic and so on.