Apple may have the head start on its competitors when it comes to streaming content, but Google is not going to let it get too far ahead. CEO Eric Schmidt said in a keynote at the IFA conference in Berlin this week that it plans to offer its “Google TV” service worldwide by next year.
Sony will be the first manufacturer to incorporate Google’s technologies into
television sets sold within the US this fall. From there, the service will be expanded worldwide in 2011. Samsung is also considering building televisions based on Google’s Android platform, but no final decision has been made.
Manufacturers have little to lose by incorporating Google TV into their plans: the platform is offered at no cost to developers, and Google has no plans to charge any kind of fees to those content providers offering content over the service, nor does it plan to extend its advertising platform there either.
It certainly looks like Google is only interested in getting its platform on as many devices as possible, and in the quickest amount of time. Its strategy is the complete opposite of Apple’s, which charges for the box to play its content, and also takes a cut of the sales of content through its service.
Originally announced in May of this year, the service aimed to take Android to more than just mobile devices. Logitech and Intel also are partners in Google TV’s development, in an effort to bring search to the television in a way that is useful to the viewer.
Intel will supply the processors within the television, and Google the software and web browser. Logitech would build the peripherals for interaction with the television, such as the keyboard and remote control.
Partnering with Google may seem strange, as Sony has been known to favor in-house proprietary solutions versus open source ones, like Android is. Yet, Google’s brand name gives Sony an established brand on which to build its internet-connected line of televisions on.
In addition, it gives Sony access to thousands of Android developers which now can begin to develop apps intended for television’s larger screen, further enhancing the overall experience.