Do you remember what Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) announced during this week's Consumer Electronics Show? My guess is no, if only because I don't, and I was in the audience when film director Michael Bay tripped over his lines and walked off stage. What went wrong? Here's what Bay told TMZ:
Listen, It was a very human moment, OK? I've gone on stage a couple of hundred times in my life ... I was about to talk about some very technical jargon, and unfortunately, I jumped the line, which means I started first. It was one of those things where my line set his line up and vice versa.
So it was a mistake. One he apologized for on his blog, which means he now gets to go back to the business of finishing Transformers: Age of Extinction, which is due in theaters next June.
But what about Samsung? CES is as competitive a trade show as you'll find, and this year, the Korean electronics giant is facing formidable competition in several areas. For example, Toshiba unveiled a new $279 Chromebook -- remember when Samsung was the go-to Chromebook supplier? -- while Sony (NYSE:SNE) touted its new S series curved 4K television screens to compete with the 105-inch Ultra HD television Bay was supposed to promote onstage.
There's plenty at stake. Digital TV Research projects that smart TVs -- big screens connected to the Internet in some way -- will more than double over the next five years to at least 759 million units by 2018. Samsung, at 26%, according to Strategy Analytics, accounted for the largest share of the Smart TV market in last year's Q1. Hiring Bay to present its newest Ultra HD sets at CES was supposed to add momentum.
Alas, it didn't happen. But in the long run, I doubt it matters. The bigger concern is whether industry support for 4K will be enough to drive demand for Samsung's new TVs. So far, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has said season 2 of House of Cards will be shot and streamed in 4K. Amazon.com, for its part, plans to shoot all its original shows in the format, while YouTube says it supports the format -- though we don't really know what that means in terms of its library.
Or to put it in terms Bay might be more comfortable with: As far as the development of this market goes, we're barely past the opening credits.