Steve Jobs’ TV Epiphany ‘Nothing New,’ Says Samsung Exec

As speculation about an Apple TV set swirls through this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Philip Newton, Samsung Australia’s director of audio-visual, said that ex-CEO Steve Jobs’ revelation about “the simplest [TV] user interface you can imagine” is “nothing new.” He was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr. Newton explained: “When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with … things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.”

Asked about Apple’s competitive position against Samsung, which is the top TV brand in the world, Mr. Newton replied: “Do we see them as a threat, not specifically no … probably we’ll have some competitors that may suffer … but we see it as a great opportunity, the more big name brands that get involved in smart [TV] the better off we are as a brand because we know we can lead it.”

The rest of the article details the latest developments in the market, including thinner TV sets, the use of OLED technology in screens, and increasing intelligence that includes voice and gesture commands and even face recognition so family members can log into unique profiles. Samsung is also offering an “evolution kit” that lets consumers plug new features into their existing TVs every year, rather than having to spend a couple thousand dollars on a new one.