So Eric Schmidt recently gave an interview at LeWeb 2011. In the middle of a conversation mostly about world governments and democracy, he dropped a bomb about the future of Google TV.

by the summer of 2012 .... the majority of the televisions that you see in the television stores here will have Google TV embedded in it

You read that right, Eric Schmidt expects Google TV to somehow end up on 50%+ of televisions sold in the next 6 months. Google TV is probably hovering around 0% of televisions sold today.

There were almost no details given on just how he expects Google to accomplish this, he only mentioned "a similar strategy to what we did with Android, the price is free." That's great and all, but Google TV isn't "free" to the consumer, you need a beefier CPU, memory, and storage to run the OS, all of which increase the price of the TV.

Something to keep in mind, Schmidt has had several high profile cases of foot in mouth disease. So the other possibility is that this is just another "oops" moment from him. And really, the more you look at it, the more farfetched this statement becomes. If you take a look at TV market share, you can see just how crazy of a statement this is. You'd need Samsung (21.4%), Sony (14.2%), LG (12.7%), and Panasonic (9.1%) to go "all in" with GTV in order to crack "the majority" of televisions. Considering Google TV ships in about 0% of televisions currently, I think this is just another "misstatement" by Schmidt.

But who knows, maybe Google has a massive GTV push coming, with 4+ major manufacturers on board, (even though their last partner ran away screaming) who plan to commit 100% to this fledgling OS. Maybe Google TV actually will go from 0% to 50%+ in 7 months, making it one of quickest product turnarounds ever. Eric Schmidt must know what he's talking about... right?

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.androidpolice.com Abhiroop

    For a TV to release in summer 2012 with GTV, it's likely that the TV is already ready to go (i.e. in the production line). So, the deals must be in place already.

  • David Ruddock

    Agreed, this is almost certainly a misstatement. There's no way Google has convinced 50% of TV manufacturers that jamming a small computer (essentially) in their televisions will be cost-effective and loved by consumers.

    Cable and satellite boxes are entrenched as all hell, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, cable and sat providers are probably working to trump GTV as we speak - and some of them (eg, Comcast + XFINITY Android app) are doing a pretty good job as is.

    • Ron Amadeo

      Yeah, and not just 50% of manufacturers, it would have to be in EVERY model they sell, not just 1 Google TV model.

      It's just impossible.

  • J

    Don't forget though, "By the end of summer" is Google code for "December"... Take the update that's now being released that was promised "by the end of summer"... So we're talking 12 months, not just 6...

    Even still, I doubt it will happen... Maybe be more popular, but I highly doubt it'll be on half of all TVs, or anywhere close to that figure.

    I consider myself a Google fanboy since upgrading from iOS last year. And yet, I'm still not sold. I've been thinking of picking up a Google TV since they were first released... And even with the price drop down to $99 I still haven't... Though I'm hoping I hear enough positive after the update hits to encourage the purchase... If I'm not fully sold, will there be enough demand from John Q Public to warrant anything close to half?

    Kind of curious now though.... I wonder how many households have a Roku box, or an Apple TV or something similar to Google TV... Maybe half of all households might end up with a Google TV unit... But I doubt it'll be in half of all TVs....

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    He also said that app developers will start develop for Android first, then iOS because of Ice Cream Sandwich, and we will start see it happen in 6 months. But we all know how long it takes for phone makers to update their existing phones and release new phone with a new Android OS. 6 months from now, we probably can still count the number of ICS phones by 1 hand, or may be by 2 fingers -- Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S.

  • Sorin

    All new TVs are getting to the point where they are hardware capable of doing so much more. They're connected to the Internet over WiFi/Ethernet, they have USB ports, and they all run some sort of OS. What is the alternative for TV manufacturers to put all these features to work and bring the Internet, social networking, and content sharing to life? Android seems one of the best options unless you buy Xbox. Android has an army of developers on board that could start developing apps for TVs in no time. What other better choice do you have as a TV manufacturer, unless you're Apple and plan to build an Apple TV?

    • Ron Amadeo

      Oh I agree, the idea is sound, it's just the timing that's impossible.

  • Tee

    Get the standard out! That is the key.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    At first I liked this idea. I figured that at the very worst, if somebody doesn't like the software, they can still ignore it an easily plug in a Boxee or (eww) an AppleTV. If the software is good, then a lot of people will use it.

    Then it struck me, there's a really terrible (scary?) prospect...Manufacturer Crapware. Imagine Samsung, or worse LG, deciding that they want you to have a custom interface, or maybe commercials/advertising built in. Perhaps they will even decide to push advertising during the things we watch. It sounds alarmist I'm sure, but I suspect one of the first things OEMs will think to do is subsidize the cost of the components by doing this stuff, which means they can keep the consumer price low (perhaps even lowering current prices) in exchange for pushing ads or doing a hard push of extra services/products through the interface (ie, Amazon Kindle). My first response would be to root the tv anyway, but consider how few people root their phones, the TV market has far less educated buyers who don't stand a chance.

    • Randy

      It's not alarmist at all. There WILL be advertisements in (or before) what you watch. Most likely it won't be immediately though.

      Look at youtube, IGN, or any other site you've ever been to. It starts out as a nice ad-free area, but once it becomes popular - BAM! Ads ALL OVER the place! I don't visit IGN anymore because I can't do what I want to do without seeing 5 ads (and very obtrusive ads at that) between my surfing.

      Cable was originally (read YEARS AGO) a paid service BECAUSE they provided a commercial-free service. Look at it now. You get 20 minutes of programming and 10 minutes of ads in each 30 minute slot. (Literally - watch something on netflix, or download an episode of your favorite show with the commercials removed. It's 20 minutes long)

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

        Typically 21.5 minutes for a 30 minute timeslot with 8.25 minutes of advertisements and a combined 20 seconds of black air (the little slivers of time between ads and the show breaks, you know that brief moment of utterly gentle peace and quiet before another mind wrenching ad comes on)

        In all fairness, I'm sure Google wouldn't change how they handle Youtube or any of the other obvious examples...I'm thinking more of Motorola (ok, that is Google, but you know what I mean), Samsung, Sharp, LG, etc...I imagine them building in a system that would slap ads onto video you're watching, even if it's video directly from a local drive or something like that. At the very least, I'm sure somebody will build a custom menu screen that has banner ads whenever you aren't actually watching something. I honestly wonder who will be the first to run streaming video ads either as a precursor to the show you watch or simply a constant stream of them inside of the menu screen.

  • Al McDowall

    I know this will not happen. If Google was readying for a huge push onto TVs - big enough that there would be enough units to ship between now and summer to fulfill this claim - I would have already read about it. Here.

  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    I paid $600 for my 40 inch Sony Google TV, however this was during Black Friday. This would be really cool if it was true though. As Google TV allows you to do a lot of really cool stuff.

  • Alex1x

    Hmmm... how could this possibly be? Let's think IF there was any possibility. Okay, how about that $12 Billion Dollars acquisition of Motorola? Hmmm... What brand is my At&t cable box... OH its a Motorola? Let's pick Eric apart wisely say: TVs sold come home and connect to Motorola GTV? I say (android 1.0 to 4.0 is WOW) then imagine GTV 4.0... Can't wait!

  • Mgamerz

    I don't know hoe nice google tv really is cause I have a damn revue! Logitech sucks! They are probably never going to give it gingervrrad and give their customers the finger.

    • Alex1x

      Revue is pushing update this week, it's official :)

  • Jay V

    I bought a 32' Sony google tv on black friday for 400 and i must say, i love it.
    it has everything i want in a TV and everything is so organized. With the right marketing and collaboration it could be possible. BUT they also have to bring down the price.. i mean right now a 32' is almost 600 which is way too much.. 40' should be 400 while the 32' should be 300.

    im sure everyone would love to buy a 32' for 300 in heartbeat especially with all the features.

  • Inspiron41

    they're essentially making home media pc for tv, but integrated and more optimized for tv viewing. i certainly wouldn't mind getting more out of my tv and even more integration/wireless syncing with my smartphone/tablet.

  • eyeofmind

    Set-top boxes made by motorola and other companies could run Android. Thereby...

  • http://gthing.net sam

    Walking through Costco I saw at least a few Sony TVs with gtv baked in. So it's on more than 0% of TVs.

  • Freak4Dell

    I do think he was misstating. 7 months just does not seem like enough time for that to come true.

    However, I would not complain at all if he's right. It would be wonderful to have a standard, rather than every manufacturer having their own SmartTV setup.

    What I'm really hoping is that Motorola starts using Google TV in their set top boxes. I'm tired of the clunky software that the cable companies use. If the switch to Google TV happens, it would also be nice if somebody would start making more alternatives to TiVo that customers could buy straight up instead of renting a box from the cable provider forever. I'm not really interested in TiVo right now since there's a subscription fee and the cost is high for the lifetime package, but if Motorola were to start selling their boxes in retail stores, exposing the cable card socket so we could put our own in, I'd be all over that. The software is free, cutting down the cost to the manufacturers, and TV listings could be pulled from an internet database.

  • Ryan

    Compare your global list to a US-based list and Vizio rockets to the top. Also, the newest data I could find (along with yours) was from a year ago.

    Get Samsung and Vizio in 100% and you have almost 50% market share (again, this is in the US, which you KNOW is all Google cares about).

    • Ron Amadeo

      Well he said "the majority of the televisions that you see in the television stores HERE" and he's at LeWeb, so I would assume he means in Paris.

      But anyway, no manufacturer is going to go in 100%, they need to differentiate their lineup. The cheaper stuff won't be able to run Google TV.