Google TV will be available on television sets, Blu-ray players and companion set-top boxes through partnerships with Intel Corp. and Sony Corp. Special “input devices” will include a keyboard and remote-control-type pointing device.
The Internet giant, which is looking to expand beyond its lucrative online advertising business, is betting that more consumers will want to buy televisions that can connect to the Internet. ABI Research Inc. says demand for such sets is rising with the popularity of Internet content and estimates that 46% of flat-panel televisions will have Internet connections by 2013, up from 19% this year.
But analysts say Google will have to succeed where many, including Apple Inc., have tried and struggled. Apple TV, launched in 2007, is a set-top box that displays content from the Internet and iTunes on televisions. Apple has called it a "hobby," saying the number of units sold are "still small."
Google dominates the $60.4-billion online advertising market but has yet to make inroads in other mass media. It has broadened its reach into smart-phones through its Android mobile operating system. There it's surpassed Apple as the top operating system on U.S. smart-phones.
Apple plans to continue offering new features through automatic software upgrades, leaving the door open to further utilization of its hardware capabilities and new software developments.