The world has been keeping a close watch on Apple's Smart TV, since they have been paving a revolutionary road with their products iPod, iPhone and iPad. The version of Apple TV announce earlier this month is a miniature of the previous Apple TV released a few years ago. The current version is a set top box (STB) which connects to a TV. Apple set the retail price at a reasonable US$ 99, but the unit won't feature support for storage, because the intent is that customers will rent content, which will be rendered in HD.
By contrast, Samsung Electronics released a Smart TV, as opposed to an STB. Samsung will source the content on a platform that have dubbed 'Bada'. Silicon Valley icon and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak had high praise for Samsung's technology at the 'Free the TV Developer Day' at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. Samsung hosted the event to promote development for its connected-TV platform. They called on application developers to come up with smart applications for Samsung TVs. The event brought together notable leaders from various fields in the electronics industry.
No to be out done, Sony unveiled a Smart TV of their own, which was co-developed with Google. As you might expect the Sony smart TV runs the Android OS and includes the Google's new fast search user interface.
How about LG, then LG has remained faithful to the original features of the TV. For the time being they are standing pat with their patented OS and continuing to provide the standard user interface. It is likely that they'll enter the fray when the direction of the technology has become more clear.
Indeed, the battle of Smart TV's has begun. Nobody can say which player in the market will prevail. While while a host of conflicting predictions are emerging by watchers of the industry, most people agree that application development and a variety of content will be strategy variables in the battle.
We'll be watching closely to see which approach - Apple TV's content leasing, Samsung's application developer-friendly strategies, Sony's adoption of an application-compatibility strategy via Android, LG's pragmatic strategy of waiting to commit - and which one will prevail.