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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 31, 2012

History Repeats Itself, Samsung Pursues Apple Television Before Apple

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Back when the iPad was first set to be launched back in 2010, Steve Ballmer (News - Alert) took the stage at the 2010 CES event to introduce a Slate PC, which represented Microsoft's early vision of a tablet PC. While few of the resulting Windows 7 tablet prototypes would actually see the light of day, they still made it clear that no one was going to let Apple (News - Alert) release into a market by itself.

That particular angle seems to be making a comeback with this year's CES, though in a different direction: this time, it's Samsung (News - Alert) out to bring out an Apple television before Apple can bring it out.

Samsung, likely still feeling the sting of the lawsuit battles it's recently endured, is already bringing out some teaser videos showing off its new Smart Hub interface. The firm wasn't alone on this front, though, as LG also touted a Google (News - Alert) TV system, and other makers like Panasonic and Sony are also set to bring out some impressive large televisions – and all with the smart edge.

It's unknown as yet whether Samsung will go with Google TV like LG, or with its own proprietary interfaces, but one thing is clear: no one wants Apple to bring out its television into an open field.

Admittedly, this may be something of a tempest in a teapot. Any CES (News - Alert) event is prime fodder for the big names in home electronics to bring out their latest and greatest, even if said items will never see the light of day. New televisions are pretty much a standard at the event, and chances are they would have shown up anyway even if Apple weren't throwing out innuendo left, right and center about the launch of an Apple-branded television.

Apple, meanwhile, may not even have an Apple-branded television in the works to begin with; this particular concept has been bandied around for years.

But with the rise of home theater, the rapid improvement of the technology involved in its operation, and the growing number of firms getting involved in the battle for dominance in the living room, it's a safe bet that we'll see more Smart TV products emerging this year. Part of it is, of course, is the desire to head off Apple from dominance in the field.

Even if Apple doesn't show a new television this year, the new televisions will scarcely go to waste. But if Apple does, the competition will be ready.

Space in the living rooms of America and beyond will be hotly contested in the months to come, as more discover that a theater experience can be had at home, and want the necessary hardware to make it happen.

Whether Apple enters the fray or not, there will be plenty of other companies looking for their slice of the pie.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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