Samsung Subtly Presents Tizen to Android Faithful

by Matt Klassen on October 31, 2013

While I have long predicted the downfall of Android, particularly as companies like Samsung find success with Google’s free OS and subsequently look to invest in developing their own mobile offerings, I certainly never said the downfall would be a quick one.

With that in mind, consider Samsung’s developer conference—held earlier this week in San Francisco—to be baby steps towards Android’s demise, as despite the fact that much of the discussion at the conference continued to be about the little green droid, the Korean tech giant made sure its fledgling in-house Tizen operating system made an appearance as well, putting a bug in developer’s ears if you will.

Now I can’t say that Tizen stole the show, as clearly Samsung knows where its bread and butter is currently, but given how much work Samsung is putting into developing strong bonds with Android developers, you’d be crazy not to think that subtly including Tizen in the discussion was a small yet purposeful move to urge dedicated Android devotees to start at least thinking about this up-and-coming OS. It’s like I said: baby steps.

The low-key presence of Tizen at Samsung’s developer conference didn’t come from the company ramming it down developer’s throats, or annoyingly mentioning it at every turn, but in a far more subtle, and perhaps natural, way, as discussions with developers, muted pitches from Samsung partners, and reminders of cash incentives the company is offering to app-makers.

So while Samsung continued to strongly urge developers to stay true to Android—and staying true to Samsung by making native apps for Samsung’s Android devices—it was clear that this was all part of the plan, create loyalty with the Samsung brand instead of the Android OS and the forthcoming transition to Tizen will be all that much easier.

“The whole conference has got to be seen in the context of Tizen,” Ovum analyst Jan Dawson said. “Samsung is proving it’s good at working with developers so they’ll transition to Tizen when the time comes.”

Its clear that Tizen is the desired future for Samsung—and its partner Intel, who did most of the Tizen specific leg work at the conference—as it looks to distance itself from the rest of the Android ecosystem and start making the OS specific money that currently fills Google’s coffers. Not only that, but with Google focusing more and more on Motorola, its own Android handset manufacturer, its clear Samsung wants additional leverage against the search engine’s growing mobile dominance.

That said, before anything can happen with Tizen, before developers can even really start to get interesting in being convinced of possibly considering Tizen, Samsung and Intel need to get it off the ground, and with the release of the first Tizen phones now once again delayed, this time till likely early in the New Year, that’s far from a sure thing. Perhaps that’s why Tizen’s presence was muted at the conference.

Regardless, its clear Samsung still has faith in Tizen, and it knows the only way to attract stalwart Android acolytes will be through this sort of muted persistence, ideally leading developers to a point where they don’t even realize they’re programming for Tizen instead of Android.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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