Smart TVs may be taking off, but they're still not smart enough | ZDNet (click for full article) Summary: Informa is predicting healthy sales of Smart TV sets, but they're still not smart enough, as Apple, Google and Microsoft eye the prospects of a joined-up market for "three screens and a cloud"... By Jack Schofield for Jack's Blog | November 28, 2012 -- 19:01 GMT (11:01 PST) "Apple, Google and Microsoft have all eyed the TV market, and some expect Apple to launch a TV set next year. However, the current Smart TV market doesn't look very smart, according to Informa Telecoms & Media's latest Smart TV forecasts. It seems a large proportion of Smart TVs are used as dumb TVs, and they go out of date too quickly to act as "digital hubs". Informa thinks 54 million Smart TV sets will be sold world-wide in 2012, growing to more than 220 million units per year in 2017. By then, most homes in North America (63 percent) and Western Europe (64 percent) will have one, so it sounds like a healthy market. However, Informa senior analyst Andrew Ladbrook estimates that more than half of the 800 million Smart TV sets in use in 2017 will not be connected to the internet, and therefore not smart at all. He adds: "Moreover, while any 'smart' TV bought in 2011 or 2012 can be used for streaming online video services for a few years, they lack the processing power and the necessary hardware to perform those smart TV functions that will be standard in 2015. Simply put, any smart TV purchased in 2012 will be effectively obsolete by 2015." Part of the problem is that TVs have long lifecycles compared to smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, media streamers and games consoles. These smart devices are often cheaper and they are much more frequently replaced."