Roku said that it will continue to support and provide software updates to Haier connected TVs that integrate its streaming platform amid a report that Haier is moving in another direction, with Google.
Twice reported that Haier is dropping Roku’s platform to instead move forward with one that builds in Google’s Google Cast technology (recently rebranded as “Chromecast built-in”), which is used in the Chromecast streaming adapter, in boxes for Google Fiber’s TV service, as well as from other TV makers, including Vizio, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and Philips.
According to Twice, Haier plans to launch a line of Chromecast-based (with screen sizes ranging from 43 inches to 75 inches) in Q2. “With Google, we can better leverage Haier’s global footprint and develop platforms which we can use in different countries,” James Liess, Haier America’s director of marketing and communications, said, according to Twice.
Roku issued this statement regarding Haier’s decision:
“The market continues to evolve and so do company’s priorities. Haier is focused on its international footprint whereas we are focused on North America right now so they chose to use another solution. Haier Roku TVs will continue to be available in the near-term. We will continue to support Haier Roku TVs and they will continue to get SW updates for the foreseeable future.”
Despite the loss of Haier, Roku said its TV integration business remains strong. Last week, it announced Element Electronics as a Roku TV partner, and said Roku TVs now account for 13% of all U.S. smart TV sales.
Roku’s other TV partners include Hitachi America, Sharp, Insignia (Best Buy’s in-house brand), and Hisense.