Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Samsung, Intel back new platform Tizen with $4 million developer app challenge

Despite the fact that it has ridden the coattails of Android into the top spot among cell phone manufacturers, Samsung said earlier this year that it would be releasing smartphones with its own open-source software, Tizen, in 2013. The biggest challenge in this age of smartphones, though, is attracting developers away from the Big Two (Android and iOS), and given that problem, on Monday Samsung and Intel announced an app development challenge for their upstart OS.

The Tizen App Challenge, as it is called, starts in a vague "few days," according to the submission page. Developers have from the opening of the submission window until Nov. 1 to submit their apps. Judging will take place between Nov. 4 and Nov. 25, with winners will be announced in December.

Prizes range from $30,000 to $200,000. As you might expect, the games (vs. non-games) section has the higher prize tiers of the two main app divisions.

Games:

Grand Prize (one per category): $200,000
Runner-Up (two per category): $100,000
Honorable Mention (three per category): $40,000

Game Categories: Action, Adventure, Arcade, Sports, Role Playing, Strategy, Board, Card/Casino, Puzzle, Word/Trivia, Music, Others.

Non-Games:

Grand Prize (one per category): $120,000
Runner-Up (two per category): $60,000
Honorable Mention (three per category): $30,000

Non-Game Categories: Productivity, Finance, Utilities, Education, Reference, Kids, Music/Video, Entertainment, Photo, Font, News/Magazine, Sports, Weather, Social Networking, Lifestyle, Health, Travel, Navigation.

Overall, the prize package is $4 million. In addition to the above, the top 10 ranked HTML5 apps will be eligible for an additional $50,000 prize.

The "challenge" can be seen as a way for Samsung and Intel to garner developer interest in the new platform. Without a significant number of apps, the new OS would find itself in the same mess that HD-DVD did: insufficient content. In HD-DVD's case, the content was movies and television shows, which gravitated toward Blu-ray; in Tizen's case, the content would be the apps necessary for a smartphone to succeed.

Tizen is open, but much of the initial work has been done under the guidance of Samsung and Intel. For Samsung, Tizen could give it the chance to break away from the "clutches" of Google and Android; for Intel, aligning itself with a new mobile operating system might mean greater adoption of its mobile chips.

The OS is being developed under the auspices of the Tizen Association, which is led by a Board of Directors (Samsung, Intel, Huawei, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, KT, Sprint, SK Telecom, Orange, NTT Docomo, Vodafone).

On July 3, 2013, Samsung announced that the release of handsets, which had been expected as early as this month, has been pushed back to Q4, reportedly due lack of developer engagement.




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