MOBILE CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm has decided to drop its Snapdragon 802 system on chip (SoC) that was made for 4K Smart TVs, because it realised that no one wants it.
Supporting our initial view that the Smart TV is dead on arrival, Qualcomm said in a blog post on Friday, "[We have] decided not to commercialise the recently announced Snapdragon 802 processor as the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated."
The chip designer said that the decision does not affect other products it is shipping in the market segment.
Announced at CES in Las Vegas in January, the Snapdragon 802 processor was designed to enable "advanced Smart TV experiences" simultaneously on one TV or on multiple connected devices. The SoC was designed to make it possible for users of 4K Smart TVs to play an online game while video conferencing, browsing the web while streaming a movie, or playing up to four Full HD videos simultaneously on the same Ultra HD display.
However, it seems that the firm has decided that there isn't enough demand from consumers for these kind of experiences to warrant bringing the chip to market.
Perhaps the real problem with Smart TVs in general is that they offer services that have nothing to do with TV viewing and thus are just easier to access from devices other than TVs. Families don't huddle around the television to use apps that they use all day on their smartphones, such as checking the weather. They sit down to watch live TV programming or, more recently, catch-up TV services.
It's probably much quicker and easier to engage in activities like checking social networks, listening to music or playing games from a laptop, tablet or smartphone - a device that likely won't ever be more than a few meters from your hand anyway. µ