CES 2012: Samsung has best chance (right now) at total connected ecosystem

If anyone can build a totally connected ecosystem of home entertainment products and appliances, it's Samsung.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- One of the big themes at CES 2012 is the Internet-connected home, but few companies really have the products and resources in place to really make an ecosystem happen and be successful.

Samsung is one of the strongest -- if not THE strongest -- contender in this regard with prominent success in several consumer tech divisions, including televisions, smartphones, and even tablets (patent spats aside).

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverageCES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

While speaking to a packed (and overflowing) room of analysts and reporters on Monday afternoon, Samsung's president of consumer electronics Boon-Keun Yoon rattled off a slew of statistics that really reinforce this argument and the company's place in consumer electronics right now.

Here's just a glance of where Samsung is already:

  • Boasted to be the #1 television brand for the last six years (Samsung is selling roughly two TVs per second.)
  • Topped Apple in smartphone market share starting last year, now reaching 300 million in worldwide sales
  • Produces North America's #1 refrigerator

The refrigerator stat might seem useless to some consumers. But for anyone trying to build a completely unified, Internet-connected system at home, then that product might just seal the deal.

When it comes to arguably the most important component of the home entertainment center -- the television -- Samsung is pushing the envelope farther by making HDTVs that are larger, clearer and smarter. (Just consider the voice and gesture control support on the new UNES7500 LED TV.)

Furthermore, Samsung's HDTVs are evolving to the point where they could eliminate the need for other entertainment devices (such as gaming consoles, for some consumers) with the new Media Hub app market.

Games and other multimedia functions are more abundant as the pool of Samsung apps has grown from 500 to 25,000 in last two years. Furthermore, the number of these apps downloaded worldwide will reach nearly 20 million by the end of January 2012.

Other areas where Samsung is boosting its efforts to integrate smart technology: digital cameras, camcorders, and even washing machines.

Right now, Samsung probably has the best bet at syncing up its gadgets into a seamless system. We'll see how well Panasonic and Sony can compete later today, but Samsung made a case -- reinforced by an absolute abundance of new releases from monitors to 3D HDTVs to laptops -- that is hard to top.


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