Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of TVs, said Thursday that global sales of its smart TVs reached 2 million units in three months after their debut on brisk overseas demand.
Since the products' U.S. debut in March, Samsung sold 730,000 units in North America and 710,000 in European countries, the company said in a statement.
The products, which connect to the Internet and support installed applications, were also popular in the Middle East and Southeast Asia with 170,000 units sold in the regions, it added. In the local market, Samsung sold 120,000 units.
Samsung competes with hometown rival LG Electronics Inc. and Japan-based Sony Corp. to woo more consumers to surf the Web, use social networking services and stream content from the Internet while sitting on a living room couch.
TV vendors introduced cheaper Web-connected TV models and are racing to establish partnerships with content providers in each country to source a bigger range of TV shows, movies and third-party applications.
Skeptics, however, question whether the so-called "boob tube" can turn into a smart device. Wider adoption of Web-connected TVs also hinges on the deployment of the broadband Internet and developing easy to use, intuitive software, they say.
Samsung has been trying to replicate the success of Apple Inc.'s App Store on the TV front, hoping that a growing number of applications can lure more buyers.
The company, which hosted a contest for developers to create TV applications, said that about 600 TV applications on its application marketplace, Samsung Apps, are available in 120 countries.
Samsung aims to sell 45 million TVs globally this year, up 12 percent from last year, the company said in January.
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