Google Inc. (GOOG) is considering giving LG Electronics Inc. (066570) first access to the next version of its Google TV software so the Korean company can build a compatible set, according to two people with knowledge of the project.
The partnership would be similar to the arrangement Google has had with Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and HTC Corp. to create Nexus handsets for the Android operating system, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks aren’t public.
Google, owner of the world’s most-popular search engine, is working to build on momentum for its fledgling efforts in TV as manufacturers led by Samsung introduce Web-connected models. Google has said it plans to introduce the third version of its namesake TV service by the end of this year, with more content and easier functions to find shows.
No decision on the partnership between Google and LG has been made, Claire Jang, a spokeswoman for Seoul-based LG, said, declining to elaborate. Robin Moroney, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Google, declined to comment.
The LG TV set would provide an early look at the new software so other manufacturers can develop their own products using the program.
LG, the world’s third-largest TV maker, unveiled a set featuring Google software at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. LG plans to sell a 55-inch, wafer-thin TV using organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology and motion-sensing software.
Samsung also will offer models equipped with the service this year, Google said in a Jan. 5 blog posting.
Google introduced a redesigned version of the service in October after the initial rollout with partners, including Sony Corp. and Logitech International SA, failed to meet some expectations.
Google TV 2.0’s interface was intended to showcase the YouTube video-sharing service better, and it opens up the platform for Android developers to build applications for TV.
Google shares fell less than 1 percent to $624.99 today. The stock climbed 8.7 percent last year.