At the end of last year, Samsung announced it would open its own operating system to other TV manufacturers. This decision came only a few months after LG started to license its webOS TV platform to third-party TV makers, that would consequently be allowed to integrate LG’s operating system into their TV sets. LG already disclosed a few deals with TV manufacturers, such as Konka, or Blaupunkt for example.
Samsung’s Tizen and LG’s webOS have been the two most used Smart TV platforms for years, but according to Dataxis’ research, the Roku OS and Google’s Android TV have experienced the largest growth in 2020 and 2021, and the trend is expected to continue for 2022. Roku and Google, as well as Amazon with its Fire OS, already started licensing their TV platforms to second and third-tier manufacturers a few years ago.
Although Roku already claimed to be the most selling Smart TV operating system in North America in 2019, thanks to licensing agreements with TCL or Hisense for instance, it has yet to consolidate its position on the Smart TV- only market outside North America. The long-awaited expansion in Europe has finally became reality last year, with the launch of Roku-powered TCL TV sets in the UK. Other European countries and Latin America should follow in 2022, believes Dataxis.
On its side, Amazon also made its way to Europe, through a partnership with Grundig in Germany and Austria, and JVC in the UK. Besides competing with Samsung and LG on the OS market, Amazon seems also willing to challenge them on their legacy TV market: the company recently announced the roll-out of its own Amazon-built Smart TV, as did Comcast with the Sky Glass and X-Class series.
This year will also witness the growing adoption of Google TV, Android TV’s successor, and River OS, LG’s alternative to webOS. Market consolidation might then take a few more years, in the most definitely crowded Smart TV OS market, concludes Dataxis.