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Why Tizen will be a game-changer

Mar 20, 2013  |  Guest column
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In this guest column, Jared Weiner, an analyst at VDC Research, presents four reasons why he believes Samsung’s first Tizen-based smartphone, expected to arrive this summer, is likely to be a game-changer.

 

4 Reasons Tizen is Bad News for Android
by Jared Weiner

 

bada. LiMo. Maemo. Moblin. MeeGo. At one time or another, these Linux-based mobile platforms were expected to have a significant impact on the smartphone market. In each case, however, potential and promise never became reality. Some were abandoned, some were merged. Partner organizations came and went. OEMs changed course. I’m not sure Apple or Google even noticed, let alone cared.

Tizen, however, will be different. With Samsung set to unveil its first Tizen-based handset sometime this summer, here are four reasons it will be a game-changer:

  • Tizen is well-supported. Tizen is steered primarily by Intel, Samsung, and the Tizen Association (formerly LiMo Foundation), all under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The Tizen Association counts Fujitsu, Huawei, Orange, Panasonic, Sprint, and Vodafone among its members.
  • Tizen is compatible with HTML5. Poor app ecosystems doomed the aforementioned mobile Linux platforms, and certainly played a role in the downfall of BlackBerry and the tepid acceptance of Windows Phones. HTML5 compatibility will give Tizen users access to a wide range of apps without the need to address the challenge of attracting native app developers.
  • The Android brand is no longer important. Samsung, the leading manufacturer of Android-based smartphones, rarely uses the word “Android” in its advertisements anymore. Check it out for yourself on the company’s newly launched Galaxy S4 page. Not a single reference to Android on the entire site. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to read to read between the lines…
  • Samsung is poised to ditch Android. Despite being the Android leader, Samsung has never fully committed to the platform. The company has seemingly always been in search of a strong alternative, having at different times dabbled with bada, MeeGo, Windows, and now Tizen. Between some of the legal headaches associated with the use of Android (Apple lawsuits, the “Microsoft Tax,” etc.) and Google’s acquisition of a top competitor (Motorola Mobility), Samsung appears more eager than ever to move on.

Tizen has also been touted as an automotive in-vehicle infotainment solution. Interestingly — and perhaps not-so-coincidentally — the IVI space is populated by many of the same players Tizen faces in the smartphone space: BlackBerry/QNX, Windows, and Linux. Does Tizen have what it takes to succeed in IVI as well?

For more on factors impacting Android, be sure to check out VDC’s upcoming report, “Android in the Embedded Systems Market” from the Strategic Insights 2013: Embedded Software & Tools research program.
 

About the author: Jared Weiner supports all of VDC’s Embedded Software and Tools practice’s major research programs, and is a contributor on custom research and consulting engagements. His work includes coverage of embedded operating systems, software development tools, modeling and test tools, and more.

 

(The contents of this post are copyright © 2013 VDC Research Group Inc., and have been reproduced by LinuxGizmos with permission.)
 

About Tizen


Tizen Architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Basically, Tizen is a cross-architecture, open source software platform based on a comprehensive standards-based HTML5 implementation that was designed to support multiple device segments, including the smartphone, tablet, smart TV, netbook, and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) markets.

To achieve this cross-platform flexibility, Tizen uses HTML5 as the main focus for application development, allowing developers to maintain a single codebase. The Tizen platform supports Web applications (HTML, Javascript, CSS) and provides a rich set of services that include an application framework plus content, location, messaging, multimedia, network, social, and system services.

Slides from the Tizen Architecture talk at the May 2012 Tizen Developer Conference are available here (pdf file). For further details on Tizen, visit the Tizen project website.

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

9 Responses to “Why Tizen will be a game-changer”

  1. Mongrol says:

    None of those reasons make it a game changer.

    Tizen is well-supported. – Foundations mean nothing. Companies can drop out at any time. What level of support do these companies actually put in other than being in a “foundation”?

    Tizen is compatible with HTML5. – Great, so we can use FirefoxOS apps. I might get a FirefoxOS phone instead, or better yet, an Android!

    The Android brand is no longer important. – Well it is actually, no matter what companies think. Like you say they don’t own the App Store. “Hey friend, what’s that cool game you have?”, “It’s foomonkey”, “I’ll download it, oh, I can’t”

    Samsung is poised to ditch Android. – Hardly. Tizen + Samsung = Meego + Nokia.

  2. Tsiolkovsky says:

    For me Tizen is quite boring, Yes still better than Android, more GNU/Linux-like, but boring compared to MeeGo or Jolla Sailfish. What would make it interesting for me would be the addition of Qt so that it is supported out of the box for more powerful native app development. Qt Quick (QML) is extremely nice for this.

  3. boudie2 says:

    With regards to the “Microsoft Tax” it’s my understanding that it’s the same scam that was behind the SCO lawsuit which MS helped finance a few years back. They claim the Linux kernel infringes on their supposed “intellectual property” and even though they won’t show how or in what way it does, they will indemnify any company which pays them five dollars per phone against future lawsuits. Don’t know if Samsung is currently paying into this blackmail scheme, but as Tizen uses the Linux kernel as well, it would not eliminate this problem.

  4. Janus Dikra says:

    “Tizen is well-supported. Tizen is steered primarily by Intel, Samsung, and the Tizen Association (formerly LiMo Foundation), all under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The Tizen Association counts Fujitsu, Huawei, Orange, Panasonic, Sprint, and Vodafone among its members.”
    With sooooooooooo many parties involved….I can predict this platform almost guaranteed to fail. At best no more than 5-8 years.

    “Tizen is compatible with HTML5. Poor app ecosystems doomed the aforementioned mobile Linux platforms, and certainly played a role in the downfall of BlackBerry and the tepid acceptance of Windows Phones. HTML5 compatibility will give Tizen users access to a wide range of apps without the need to address the challenge of attracting native app developers.”
    Uh? Seriously? This is a “point”? Last I check the total number of non-HTML app (desktop platform, server platform, and mobiles) greatly exceed HTML5 app. Every platforms top apps are native! Not sure where on earth this argument is based on.

    “The Android brand is no longer important. Samsung, the leading manufacturer of Android-based smartphones, rarely uses the word “Android” in its advertisements anymore. Check it out for yourself on the company’s newly launched Galaxy S4 page. Not a single reference to Android on the entire site. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to read to read between the lines…”
    There are always tons of other companies ready to replace Samsung, both hardware and mobile. The moment Samsung ditch their Android support (whatever….bada or Tizen), LG, Huawei, ZTE, Sony, HTC and even Amazon will step up and replace the empty spot. Android is fully driven by the entire might of Google, one of the best congregation of software brains on this planet. You’re telling me Samsung can replicate that? TouchWiz after almost a decade still hangs and crap the phone! Before Google came along to subsidize mobile OS, do you know how crappy Samsung software?????!!!! Even to this day, Touchwiz is weak compare to other UI overlays.

    “Samsung is poised to ditch Android. Despite being the Android leader, Samsung has never fully committed to the platform. The company has seemingly always been in search of a strong alternative, having at different times dabbled with bada, MeeGo, Windows, and now Tizen. Between some of the legal headaches associated with the use of Android (Apple lawsuits, the “Microsoft Tax,” etc.) and Google’s acquisition of a top competitor (Motorola Mobility), Samsung appears more eager than ever to move on.”
    Yeah, good luck. Samsung’s strength has always been in hardware. To switch over to become a software powerhouse, you’ll need to take at least decades if you’re doing homegrown software engineers. If Samsung intends to poach, good luck. It took Google almost a decade to accumulate all those great brains to finally consolidate online presence mid 00s. Same goes with Facebook. How Samsung going to solve that? Open source Tizen based on open source Linux? Yeah, after 2 decades, not a single open source Linux Desktop making a dent in Windows Desktop. Not even during the down time of Vista debut. And as it turns out, only Mac OS X finally making some headway. And now, Samsung with the “might” of Linux open source intends to do that? You think Linux communities are so homogenous and taking orders from Samsung? Yeah, good luck!

  5. Santosh says:

    Without Android, Samsung phones are nothing.
    It is good to have but Android don’t need a Samsung.
    Android is at least four years ahead of any smartphone OS (except iOS).

  6. jezra says:

    At no point in this article is there any mention of actually *using* Tizen on a device, and how the features of the Operating System (or glaring lack thereof) will in any way be “bad news” for Android.

  7. Vijit says:

    Well I am a great proponent of thin HTML5 based apps. However nobody is ready to hear about that yet. Everybody still wants want fat native apps. It will change in the future, but Blackberry is also well poised for HTML5. BB10 is also taking a big hit for not having enough native apps and they are being heavily pooh pood for using an Android emulator to run Android apps.
    Granted the Tizen emulator will run straight Android binarys but they will still be non native apps. So why is Tizen which has no penetration in the market going to be better than Blackberry?
    I think Samsung is playing a game they may just lose if they decide to ditch Android.

  8. The Inquirer says:

    …and Samsung cancels its first and only Tizen smartphone.
    Android killer, my arse…

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