Performance Performance Performance
Since I'm on a tear, I'll just keep babbling. This isn't a rant; just my thoughts on how this subject is bigger than the few issues we've discussed. Admittedly I've made a lot of obnoxious presumptions that come off like I'm saying I know more than Samsung; and that's not true.
- There's no need to compare Samsung's products to the other
manufacturers. From my view, you're in the #1 spot. So don't look down.
"But no one else has a good browser either!" can only hurt perception
that Samsung is the leader.
- Customers will rarely have the full view of the market like you do.
I'd rather hear you say "Understood. The browser can definitely get
better." than "Technically it does surf."
- Feature/app Usage (what/how/how often/how long) should be key metrics
that your data analysis team will soon care a lot about, if they don't
already. It's a lot different than tracking purchases of a TV. Example:
If Samsung KNEW [via data] that users weren't using the Hulu app because
it doesn't support key entry from the remote, then you might solve
future problems. Because as I said before, I've now hooked up a
computer. So instead of hitting Smart Hub, I now hit Source. Someday
this choice will matter a lot [financially].
The browser problems are quite quantifiable. Good performance is hard to achieve, and takes ongoing effort, but it will also continue to pay dividends. It might not be what marketing believes will sell more TVs today, but eventually I guarantee they will demand "the best, cleanest, fastest experience on the market." Bad performance creates lots of problems: short-term - unsatisfied/angry customers, and long-term - losing customers.
The yet-to-be-realized future is what we see/want/need in the Samsung TVs. A great web surfing experience (on par with the TV quality) will be required to win new customers -- very soon. I'd say it will come to a head in 2012.
The Market is Changing [or so everyone still believes]
The road to the best TV experience is littered with those that tried and failed to replace the Set-Top Box (STB) providers (basically Comcast & Time Warner). MANY companies have made a run at them and ALL have lost. Verizon = FiOS growth ended. Apple TV = never will be big since it is stupidly tied to iTunes (limited audience). Google TV = v1 and v2 have been failures; remains to be seen if they'll invest long-term. Maybe with Motorola (big manufacturer of the actual STBs) expertise onboard, they can do something. Microsoft TV failed a decade ago, although WMC is now ubiquitous and quite a powerful competitor to the STBs). And then there's all the small guys- Roku, Boxee, DIY/MythTV, etc. etc.
My point: The ONLY companies I believe that can dethrone the STB monopolies and make a step change in this industry are the TV manufacturers. And no one is poised to do this better than Samsung because of their 1) awesome TVs, 2) widespread devices, 3) [at least publicly] no ambition of creating an OEM'able OS that competes with other major systems, and 4) they already have a big and loyal customer base.
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