The Advent of Tizen Draws Closer

by Matt Klassen on April 30, 2014

With the ironclad dominance of Android and iOS in the global smartphone market the prospect of a new mobile operating system that could challenge their market share is always a welcome sight for developers looking for differentiated channels to distribute their apps and for carriers looking for relief from established phone manufacturers who now seem to call all the shots.

One such alternative is the open source Linux-based platform Tizen, a joint Samsung-Intel venture that has been in development for some time now, and while many think the platform isn’t ready for the consumer market, the truth is we’ve already seen Tizen for some time now, deployed on ‘smart’ products like TVs, smartwatches, cameras, and appliances.

But when it comes to the mobile world Tizen has been all promise and no substance, as after successive release delays we still haven’t seen a Tizen-powered smartphone. All that may be about to change, however, as recent insider reports indicate Samsung may be poised to rollout Tizen in several growth markets around the world, which of course means no presence in North America for the foreseeable future.

Citing an unnamed “Samsung official,” specialist blog Tizen Indonesia recently stated that the first official Tizen smartphone will be released in Russia next month, before landing in Brazil and several other developing markets.

“Samsung Electronics plans to launch the first Tizen smartphone in Russia next month,” the insider is said to have confirmed. The report adds that Samsung is aiming the Tizen OS at “countries where the smartphone market is still possible to develop,” that is where Android and iOS haven’t yet achieved complete and total domination of the market.

Should we actually see a Tizen phone this time around it would serve as a watershed moment for Samsung, as the Korean tech giant grapples with the fact that it has created the world’s most popular Android smartphone brand yet is still beholden to Google when it comes to decisions regarding the mobile platform.

There’s no question that Samsung, like Apple, desires to control the entire mobile process and developing an in-house OS like Tizen may be the way to finally gain control of the most important bastion of mobile existence.

In an effort to help customers begin the process of segueing from Android to Tizen, the report also indicates that the first Tizen smartphone will “not be much different [from] the Galaxy S4.” By reviving the form factor of Samsung’s Android Galaxy brand, particularly if its able to resemble the Android experience (for a time at least), I would wager a guess that customers will have little problem transitioning between platforms, simply because they don’t know they’ve done it.

I’ve long thought that Tizen (more than Windows phone, Blackberry, Symbian or what have you) really has the potential to develop into a serious third player  in the global mobile market, as its marries the power of a trusted brand like Samsung brand with the deep customization that developers originally dreamt of with Android into one package, now all we need is for that package to finally get delivered.

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

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