Samsung steals march to launch first Internet television sets in UK

Samsung is planning to be the first major company to launch Web TV in the UK. Internet TV is a standard set that is sold with a modem and a keyboard, allowing the user to access the Web and send e-mail on the TV.

Samsung is planning to be the first major company to launch Web TV in the UK.

Internet TV is a standard set that is sold with a modem and a keyboard, allowing the user to access the Web and send e-mail on the TV.

The set is expected to sell for between 349 and 400 and will be launched at the end of May or early June.

The move has surprised the rest of the electronics industry, as both Sony and Philips say they have no plans to launch their Web TVs in the UK.

Philips and Sony put their Web TV and Web TV Internet Terminal sets on the US market last September.

The UK home computer market is much smaller than in the US, which is why the other players are holding back from launching. Home computer penetration in the US is about 40 per cent, while in the UK it is about 20 per cent.

A Philips spokesman says: “The Americans have a much more advanced computer culture, while in the UK the Internet is still something we only use at work.”

But Samsung’s new UK marketing director Ali Demin says: “We think there is a market here which has the potential to grow.”

New Media, page 26

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