Samsung to sell 25 mil. Internet-linked TVs
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics is aiming to sell 50 million flat-screen televisions this year with over half of them Internet-enabled, its senior executive said Wednesday.
``We want to sell at least 25 million Internet-enabled televisions,’’ Samsung Executive Vice President Kim Hyun-suk told reporters, unveiling its new ES8000 Smart TV at the firm’s headquarters in downtown Seoul.
The firm believes Apple of the United States will release its ``Apple TV’’ sometime in the latter half of this year. But Kim remained tight-lipped about further details.
It’s expected that Apple TV will threaten Samsung’s bottom line as the U.S. company is still in a better position in terms of content.
Steve Park, Apple’s representative in Korea, declined to confirm.
Samsung said it’s still been in talks with Google to jointly release the Google TV. ``Nothing has been decided yet on which operating system or specifications will be used in the Google TV,’’ Kim said.
Asked whether his firm will re-enter the Japanese market, Kim didn’t rule out an immediate venture, however, adding more time will be needed for a final decision.
``Japan is the only nation where Samsung isn’t at the top. It’s true that the Japanese market is very difficult to penetrate and we will study it more closely,’’ he said.
The technology heavyweight confirmed that it will release the so-called ``half-priced TV’’ from March, despite rising worries that such entry-level TVs will hurt the profit structure.
``If a market exists, then Samsung will be there. We are prepared in terms of products,’’ Kim said.
Its latest smart TV recognizes human voice instructions in some 30 languages. It also recognizes hand motions and offers some 1,500 applications, Samsung said in a statement.
Web-connected television is allowing consumers to access the Internet and online videos as well as offering specialized applications such as video games.