Sony Said to Announce Televisions With Intel Chips, Google Software in May

Sony Corp., trying to reverse sales declines in its TV division, will announce home-entertainment devices next month that use Intel Corp. chips and Google Inc. software, said two people familiar with the matter.

The companies plan to discuss the new products at a conference sponsored by Google in San Francisco on May 19 and May 20, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details are still being worked out. Intel is contributing a customized version of its Atom chip that will run a new version of Google’s Android operating system called Dragonpoint.

Sony, aiming to win back share lost to Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., would use Intel and Google to help produce televisions and Blu-ray DVD players with Internet access. Intel, whose processors run 80 percent of personal computers, wants to get its chips into new areas, including mobile phones and consumer electronics.

The three companies have been working with Logitech International SA on ways to add more Internet content to televisions, two people involved with the discussions said in March. Logitech is developing a keyboard that would work as a remote control, one of the people said.

Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, and George Boyd, a spokesman for Sony, both declined to comment. Mary Ninow, a spokeswoman for Intel, also declined to comment.

Losing Ground

Sony, based in Tokyo, ranks third in the television market, behind Samsung and LG. It suffered an 18 percent slide in TV revenue in the fourth quarter, according to market research firm DisplaySearch in Austin, Texas. Sales at Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, grew 13 percent, while Seoul-based LG’s revenue gained 20 percent.

TV manufacturers are seeking to attract consumers by adding Internet connections, which allow TVs to handle streaming music and video services from companies such as Pandora Media Inc. and Netflix Inc. The sets also can run tailored programs called widgets, which provide information such as weather forecasts.

Intel has said that Atom, a scaled-down version of its computer processors, will create an experience called “Smart TV” -- where the Internet access will be integrated with advanced television guides, personal content libraries and search. The Santa Clara, California-based company also had its software engineers create programs that will better take advantage of its chips.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net; Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net; Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cliff_edwards@businessweek.com

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