SAN JOSE, Calif.--App stores have transformed portable devices. Could TVs be next?
Samsung Electronics think so. The Korean company is here pitching Samsung Apps, an application platform and marketplace, to media and content providers, as well as individual third-party developers.
Samsung Apps, as the platform is called, has been rolled out in other countries, but the company came here for its first developer conference, called Free the TV Challenge, to introduce its new software development kit to more than 100 developers in the United States.
Since app stores have become a given for portables--no phone maker would dream of launching a new smartphone today without access to one--Samsung says people want that same experience when flipping through channels from the couch.
"Consumers want and expect choice and control. Not just on the go, not just in front of computer, but in the living room," Eric Anderson, Samsung vice president of content development, told the group gathered in the ballroom of the Fairmont hotel.
Part of Samsung's pitch to developers on Tuesday was that its position in TVs and mobile phones will provide a large enough window for developers. Samsung already sells 45 million TVs a year and 200 mobile phones, so the implication is that if its TV app store takes off, the developers in on the ground floor will have their apps broadcast to a large chunk of TV owning people or people who will buy one in the next few years.
So far, there are 88 apps already available on Samsung's TV platform, but the company says there will be 200 by the end of the year. Samsung has been selling Web-connected TVs with apps from the likes of Yahoo, Netflix, Blockbuster, Facebook, Twitter, and others since 2009. By opening the platform up to third parties, it expects that number to increase exponentially over the next few years. … Read more