Samsung To Sell Google TV - WSJ.com (click for full article) "SEOUL-Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest flat-screen TV maker by revenue, plans to launch a Web-connected TV using Google Inc.'s operating system in the second half of this year targeting high-end customers in the U.S. first, an executive said in an interview, in a move that will likely help broaden the appeal of its line-up and help combat falling set prices. The head of Samsung's consumer electronics division that oversees businesses across the company's television, home appliance and other consumers goods, told Dow Jones Newswires in a recent interview Samsung will also start selling Smart TVs that have voice recognition and motion sensing capabilities, which will allow users to search for programs without having to use their remote controls. The TVs are expected to go on sale sometime in the first quarter of this year and are being showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Smart TVs are televisions that allow users to download apps, movies and surf the Internet. Unlike the mobile industry, there are no dominant software platforms for web-connected TVs. Samsung defines a smart TV as having built-in computer-style processors and a software platform that allows for custom-made applications. Through the new feature, Samsung hopes to fend off price erosion and fatten its profit in the slowing TV industry. "Last year, brisk sales of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, adversely affected TV demand, but this year, those products will create synergies with smart TVs," said Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung's consumer electronics division. Mr. Yoon, who was promoted late last year to head the company's consumer electronics division, said he expects the unit's 2011 operating profit will likely double from 2010, when Samsung posted a 500 billion won profit from the business. From 2013, Samsung plans to also offer a kit for Smart TVs that users can buy to automatically upgrade their TVs with new software content and services. With various TV offerings, Yoon said Samsung targets to sell a total of 50 million flat-screen TVs this year, up 16% from around 43 million units sold last year. Of the total, Samsung aims to double the shipment of its smart TVs in 2012 after selling around 11 million units in 2011. Mr. Yoon said TV prices, which have fallen about 30% annually, won't fall significantly this year because TV panel makers cut production last year easing a supply glut, while the company will push to sell high-margin products to cushion any price erosion. Technology companies are banking on everything from smart TVs to low-cost phones as the top trends for 2012. The WSJ's Deborah Kan talks to technology editor Yun-Hee Kim. "Even if the economy faces a slowdown, we will continue to drive sales in premium markets," Mr. Yoon said, noting that the price gap between Smart TVs and regular TVs will be about $300-$500. Yoon also said that light emitting diode backlit TVs will likely become mainstream in 2013 to replace conventional flat-screen TVs with bulky backlights. Samsung plans to mass produce 55-inch flat-screen TVs using an ultra-thin display called the organic light emitting diode or OLED, this year. Last week, its hometown rival LG Electronics Co., the world's second-largest TV manufacturer after Samsung, also said it will sell a 55-inch TV that is just 4 millimeters thick and weighs only 7.5 kilograms. The vast majority of TVs use liquid crystal displays, though a sizable minority use plasma technology."