Google dominance in sensible TV house at  danger from  WebOS

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Presently, India’s sensible TV market is dominated by televisions operating on AndroidTV, however LG began licensing its webOS platform earlier this yr.

The unique design manufacturing (ODM) licence for LG’s webOS in India is held by Videotex Worldwide, an area TV maker with factories in Uttar Pradesh’s Better Noida. Arjun Bajaj, director of Videotex, mentioned at the very least 5 manufacturers have already signed up with the corporate to make TVs operating on webOS.

Intex introduced its webOS TVs in 50-inch and 55-inch sizes earlier this month. Videotex is within the technique of establishing one other manufacturing unit, which can double its capability to round 4 million TV units per yr. The corporate manufactures TVs for manufacturers equivalent to Realme, Hisense and Toshiba.

Manufacturers equivalent to Intex and others account for a small a part of the Indian market. Manufacturers that don’t rank within the prime 5 in India’s TV market account for 38% of the market, in accordance with first quarter 2021 knowledge from Counterpoint Analysis.

Xiaomi, Samsung, LG, Sony and OnePlus make up the highest 5 TV sellers in India by way of shipments. They’ve 17%, 16%, 14%, 10% and 5% market share, respectively.

Debasish Jana, analysis affiliate, Counterpoint Analysis, mentioned it can take greater than licensing an OS to have an effect on Google’s dominance.

“Suppose if Samsung opens up Tizen tomorrow, and extra manufacturers begin adopting new platforms, then it is perhaps a menace,” he mentioned.

Of the highest 5 manufacturers, LG makes TVs on its webOS platform, whereas Samsung makes use of its in-house Tizen platform.

Sony, OnePlus and Xiaomi are tied to the AndroidTV working system.

In accordance with the Counterpoint knowledge, Android accounted for 62% of India’s market within the first quarter, adopted by Tizen and WebOS at 16% and 14%, respectively.

A complete of two.4 million sensible TVs had been shipped in India within the first quarter of the yr.

Trade executives mentioned that having an official licence holder for a platform in India reduces the price of manufacturing TVs.

Presently, there are not any ODMs in India that maintain an official licence to make AndroidTVs.

Because of this, manufacturers utilizing the platform in India need to pay a producer, who in flip has to pay a special ODM, often in China, that holds the AndroidTV licence.

The identical applies to televisions made on Amazon’s FireTV platform, whereas the manufacturing for webOS TVs could be achieved fully in India.

The Competitors Fee of India (CCI) had ordered a probe into allegations that Google is abusing its market dominance in India.

The grievance, filed by antitrust legal professionals Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand in Might final yr, alleged that Google bars firms that acquired the AndroidTV licence from working with opponents.

After an preliminary investigation, CCI mentioned it’s “prima facie satisfied” {that a} probe ought to be performed.

“The rising sensible TV sector in India is flourishing, partially, resulting from Google’s free licensing mannequin, and AndroidTV competes with many TV OSs equivalent to FireOS, Tizen and WebOS. We’re assured that our sensible TV licensing practices are in compliance with all legal guidelines,” a Google spokesperson mentioned on the time.

Anisha Chand, companion at regulation agency Khaitan and Co., famous that whereas new developments equivalent to LG opening licences for webOS received’t have an effect on the the competitors regulator’s present determination, Google may problem any future determination by arguing that the market has modified for the reason that case.

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