Samsung Slowing Development Of Tizen OS, Postponing Launch Of Smartphone Revision One
Samsung has decided to slow development on the Tizen platform; an open-source Linux-based mobile operating system born out of an alliance with Intel. According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, this is very likely tied as much to the immense popularity of Android – which holds nearly 80% of the global smartphone market – as it is the fact that Google’s platform is incorporated into Samsung’s entire mobile product line. A shift in such a competitive market would be incredibly risky for Samsung, particularly given its own stake in Google’s mobile OS.
Although that shift is still going to happen, it’s going to come a bit later than expected. Samsung’s business department president Jong-gyoon Shin late last month opted to postpone the release of the Tizen phone. The phone was initially supposed to release with the same hardware as the Galaxy S3; However, Shin, after looking at the competition, decided it would be best if the organization took some time to step up the phone’s functions and features. An official release date has not been set, though many have speculated Samsung will announce one at its first official developer conference, set to take place October 27-29 in San Francisco.
The Tizen OS was first released in January 2012 and was effectively a melding of Intel’s MeeGo operating system and Samsung’s Linux-based Bada platform. The two organizations have been working together on it ever since, and in July, Tizen 2.2 was released, adding a number of features critical to developers; these included new API access control privileges and an updated development environment to make the platform more development-friendly. Since its launch back in 2008, Android has quickly gone on to establish widespread dominance of the mobile industry. This is due primarily to its open-source nature, which makes it both free and easy to customize. As a result, Android devices can typically sell for a considerably lower price with much more variety than any competitor can manage.
With Tizen, Samsung seeks to challenge Google at its own game. It isn’t alone in this. Jolla Sailfish, Firefox, and Ubuntu OS are all equally promising; any of the three could very easily emerge as viable competition for Android in the near future.
Tom Gilb & Kai Gilb Jan 26, 2015