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Growth potential cited for smart TVs

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Smart TVs are expected to see sales reaching 54 million this year, and the figure is set to rise to 220 million by 2017, said Luo Hui-lung, researcher with Digitimes, yesterday.

Luo made the remarks during a forum yesterday held by the Institute for the Information Industry.

“Huge growth potential is expected of smart TVs, which have contributed to stronger sales for manufacturers over the past two years,” he said.

According to Luo, smart TVs will account for 37 percent of all televisions this year, and the figure will increase next year, given strong growth expected in China and the United States.

“Smart TVs have been the next biggest thing after the 3D TV,” he said.

Smart TVs have not only enjoyed robust sales but also added to the “digital home” experience, where various devices in the home including PCs, smartphones and TVs are all connected together, he said.

The popularity of smart TVs has even drawn the interest of other businesses, such as semiconductor manufacturers and cable operators, all of which are trying to capitalize on the business opportunities presented by the gadgets, he said.

Obstacles still remain and need to be addressed by smart-TV makers, he added. These include intuitive user interfaces, attractive content and the availability of value-added services.

On speculation Apple will launch the iTV next year, Luo said the electronic giant also faces various challenges, including integrating the TV with the Internet and content availability.

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