Samsung says working on joint TV, phone platform

Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:59am EDT

* Official says developers still working on project

* Only LG, Sony among hardware makers play in both industries

* Samsung to more than double "smart TV" sales next year

By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent

HELSINKI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) is developing a joint software platform for use on its cellphones and televisions, hoping a wider audience attracts more developers to use its products.

"We have a plan to have a single platform for Samsung TV and phones," Kyungsik Kevin Lee, vice president at Samsung's Visual Display Division, told Reuters in an interview.

Lee said he could not estimate when the platform would be ready as developers were still working on it.

In addition to Samsung, only its local rival LG Electronics (066570.KS) and Japan's Sony Corp (6758.T), through its handset venture Sony Ericsson, are in a position to combine the two audiences.

"There is a small number of companies positioned to do this, of course, and all have holes in their stories, whether geographically, in product terms, or in terms of engaging developer communities," said analyst John Jackson from research firm CCS Insight.

"The strategic premise is that by doing this you can position yourself to participate in the revenue streams generated by the services that run on your platform," Jackson said.

Samsung's Lee said the Korean firm expects its sales of smart TV's -- high-end TV sets which can be used also for Internet access -- to reach around 5 million sets this year, and to more than double in 2011. (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)