A Smart TV is a TV that runs an operating system along with basic television features and allows you to access internet applications, browsers and social media app on a single television interface. Smart TVs, like smartphones were expected to be an instant hit in the Western market due to its sophisticated technology features but it didn’t turned out to be so. Contrary to belief, Smart TVs turned out to be much more successful in markets like India and China than in Western markets.
Why Smart TVs Are Not Such a Smart Idea
· Technological Advancements
There are many underlying reasons that resulted in this failure. The first major flaw in the success of Smart TVs its lifetime compared to the lifetime of smartphones. Smartphones have a lifetime period of usually 2-3 years and they are not generally such an expensive investment which makes it easy to swap them.
On the other hand, buying a Smart TV is a relatively expensive investment with a lifetime usage of 10-12 years. Considering the highly dynamic changes that occur in the technological field nowadays, using a single OS for 2 years is much more acceptable to people that being stuck with it for 10 years while there are so many technological advancements going around. It is easy to switch a phone and buy a new, latest one than switching a TV every couple of years.
· Lack of Portability
Another major reason why Smart TV remains unpopular in Western markets is its lack of portability. The U.S. and other western consumers spend more time outside their house, travelling or working and they find it relatively hard to make time to watch TV. Smartphones and tablets were such a big hit because it made things portable, giving you access to the world from anywhere you might be present currently.
You cannot take a Smart TV with you everywhere. In a roundabout way, the technology brings you back to the desktop days, limiting your portability option, which is not at all smart in today’s world. Another reason why comparing them to the success of smartphones is a bad idea.
· Easily Substituted
Another major reason due to which people are not too keen on buying Smart TV is the fact that the apps it offers can be substituted easily using set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles and other connected devices at much lower prices. With portable interactive devices like tablets and phones becoming one of the fastest-growing video-viewing sources, TVs are already losing their significance fast.
· Social Media Interaction is Not What Consumers Want
According to a research conducted by consumer research firm GfK, only 25% people think that social interaction makes viewing a program more worthwhile experience. On the other hand, 33% more people searched for services online during watching television, which means that web browsing fared much better that networking. The failing comes because most of the cheaper Smart TVs don’t offer browsing services, but just certain pre-loaded apps.
Even after all these flaws, there are some who believe that with a few improvisations, Smart TVs can still turn out to be the next big thing even in Western markets. Smart remote controls, and touch and gesture features are a few improvisations people would like to see in these Smart TVs.
While the success of Smart TVs remains questionable, they are fast becoming popular in other markets like China, India and Brazil. It is also noticeable that these TVs are faring much better in markets where the PC penetration is still low.
Although Smart TVs are truly a smart creation, they are not well-matched with the fast-paced lifestyles of its targeted U.S. and Western consumer market. While initially they were supposed to be successful keeping the high success level of Smartphone technology in view, it turned out to be a poor comparison due to certain features.
While some companies are all up for exploring the market, companies like Apple are still staying away due to lack of market responsiveness towards this smart creation. Let us wait and watch if a few alterations in its design can turn the market more receptive to Smart TVs.