Nearly 53 million smart TVs are expected to ship in 2012, more than double the 25.18 million projected for this year, according to new research. The 2012 figure of 52.85 million is 750 percent more than the number of connected TVs that shipped in 2010.
Topology Research Institute (TRI) said roughly 10.4 percent of TVs shipped globally in 2011 would be connected models, with that share growing to about 20 percent in 2012.
TRI said social networking functionality is expected to be the "killer app" for smart TVs, with other features like user interface, gaming functions, Internet browsing, OTT (Over-the-Top) Video, social networking and search tools all playing a role in market success.
While TV apps will play a major role in the "smart TV wars," TRI said the amount and quality of video content provided by TV vendors will be another decisive factor.
The research company defined three distinct "camps" it expects to form: Samsung, which has some 1,000 apps and 10 million app downloads already, will form one by itself; Google's Android likely will include Sony, Vizio and Chinese TV vendors Hisen, TCL and Konka; and, a third smart TV camp likely will include LG, Sharp and Philips and be based on the HTML5, CE-HTML, and HbbTV languages.
TRi said TV vendors won't be able to rely on pure TV-set sales but will need cross-industry resource integration through acquisitions or strategic alliances with partners in different fields.
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