Thursday, August 08, 2013

Samsung co-CEO confirms: Tizen is not just a 'pet project'

Has Samsung's interest in the Tizen OS that it is developing with Intel waned? After all, Samsung already ships devices based on both Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, so why would it need another? On Monday, Samsung made it quite clear: It wants Tizen on everything.

By everything, Samsung doesn't mean every mobile device it sells. Instead, it wants to spread Tizen across everything it can possibly touch, from smartphones to tablets to cars.

The information comes from Samsung Electronics co-CEO J.K. Shin, who runs the company's IT and mobile communications division. In an interview, Shin made it quite clear that Tizen is more than a "pet project" and a "simple alternative for Android" (which many saw the Korean giant's earlier Bada platform, as).

Instead, he see Tizen running on everything you can think of -- or at least everything Samsung sells, which is quite few market segments:
There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks. Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products.
In early July, Samsung and Intel, which have been the most visible backers of the open-source platform, unveiled the Tizen App Challenge, in hopes of increasing developer interest in the new OS.

As always, a lack of app in an App Store (forgive us, Apple) will mean less consumer interest.

Samsung recently announced a delay in the introduction of the first Tizen smartphone until Q4 with some seeing the delay as evidence that Samsung's enthusiasm for the platform had dropped. Others, though, saw the delay and the App Challenge, which runs through Nov. 1, as meaning Samsung and Intel are having difficulty attracting app developers.

Much of the initial work on the platform 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 AAof 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).

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