Logitech's upcoming Google TV set-top box, the Logitech Revue  (Source: Logitech)

Google's Chrome OS is reportedly coming to soon-to-be-announced tablets this fall.  (Source: Tablet PC Review)
Competitors strategies mirror in TV market mirror their strategies in the smart phone market

Google is working with software partners and hardware manufacturers to bring the company's upcoming Google TV service to U.S. customers this fall, Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt announced Tuesday.  The news came at the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin.

With the device Google is opting for much the same approach that it uses with Android -- create a cross platform product that works with a variety of hardware vendors' products.  Google TV in its current form is based on Android OS 2.1, though it's possible an Android 2.2 "Froyo" update could be in store by launch time.  The special Google TV Android 2.1 distribution comes packed with Flash 10.1 and Google's Chrome browser.

Logitech is one OEM that has announced that it will be bringing a Google-powered set-top box to market.

Google TV in its present state will encompass software to deliver internet video to your TV, potentially including paid rentals.  Google will not produce content on its own, so it's acting as an aggregator and distributor.  Mr. Schmidt comments, "We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production."

Competing with Google TV will be the recently announced Apple TV set-top box.  Apple TV will offer streamed internet video, internet-hosted pictures, and streaming rentals.  The revised version of the device is ditching the hard drive, shrinking dramatically, and dropping in price to $99 USD.

Much like Google is following its approach in the smartphone market, Apple is following its own smartphone approach when it comes to Apple TV.  Apple TV is not a software solution available to other electronics makers.  Rather it's a closed-loop, single-package hardware/software solution much like the iPhone.  And much like the iPhone Apple will only be allowing select applications on its device, versus Google's more open approach to embracing a broad variety of online video and image sources.

It remains to be seen how either service fairs.  Apple TV thus far has posted relatively low sales -- an unusual blip for the Cupertino, California-based company.  Sticking with a closed-system single-model approach recently helped the iPhone get passed by Android in the U.S. and Apple runs similar risks with Apple TV.  Google TV, on the other hand, has enormous potential, but remains unproven and many details about it are unknown.

For both companies the allure of having a TV offering is the potential of capturing part of the video rental business which made $6.5B USD in 2009 and the television advertising business, which drew $180B USD in revenue last year.

In related news, Google is apparently opting primarily to push its upcoming Chrome operating system, a Linux distribution built around the company's Chrome browser and web-applications, for larger tablets to directly compete with the Apple iPad.  Tablets running Chrome OS are expected to launch this fall

Google currently is using Android OS, the U.S.'s leading smartphone OS for its mobile internet device (MID) efforts such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch) and the currently available Dell Streak (5-inch).  Devices smaller than approximately 10-inches tend to be classified as MIDs, while larger devices are classed as tablets (like the iPad).  That distinction will apparently determine when the device will get Chrome OS or Android OS.

The company also plans to push Chrome OS in the netbook arena.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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