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World's first Tizen tablet?

Jun 27, 2013 — by Eric Brown 15,401 views

[Updated: July 12] — Japanese firm Systena Corp. announced the first Tizen-based tablet, which also appears to be the first Tizen product of any kind. The unnamed Systena Tizen tablet offers high-end features including a 1.4GHz, quad-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip, 2GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display.

The Systena tablet offers robust specs that come close to matching the most powerful Android tablets currently on the market. The slate incorporates an unnamed 1.4GHz, quad-core Cortex-A9 processor along with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 32GB of flash. The 10.1-inch display offers impressive 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution. Additional listed features include WiFi, a microSD slot, and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

Systena’s 10-inch Tizen tablet
(click image to enlarge)


Japanese carrier and major Tizen backer NTT DoCoMo will sell the device, according to a report by TizenExperts. Last month at the Tizen Developers Conference, NTT DoCoMo and Orange promised Tizen smartphone launches in 2013, presumably using upcoming Samsung Tizen phones, but mentioned nothing about tablets.


Tizen tablet PR
(click to enlarge)

In its Japanese news release (pictured at right, click to enlarge), Systena notes potential Tizen-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) applications for the device.

As far as we can see, this is not only the first Tizen tablet to be announced but the first formal announcement of any Tizen-based product. At the May conference, Samsung vowed to unveil its first Tizen phone “very soon,” but all we’ve seen so far are leaked images of Samsung GT-I8805 and GT-I8800 smartphones running Tizen 2.1 on a Cortex-A9 processor. One report indicated a middling 1280 x 720 resolution display and LTE support, but no other details were supplied. This month, the phones reappeared on the Samsung test center website.

The rumor mill has suggested that HTC, Asus, and Acer are also planning or considering Tizen devices, but the only other vendor to promise one is Huawei, which offered no details. Tizen’s viability on tablets emerged earlier this month when Tizen developer Arnaud Dupuis posted a video demo of Tizen running on the Android-based Nexus 7 tablet.

It will be interesting to see if any Intel Atom or Haswell (4th Generation Core) Tizen tablets emerge this fall. An unnamed staffer at Intel — the major corporate backer of Tizen along with Samsung — recently leaked images of a home-grown smartphone UI overlay for Tizen called “Obsidian”. At the Tizen conference, Intel demonstrated the upcoming Tizen 3.0 running on a laptop with the help of a GNOME shell.

Further information on the groundbreaking 10-inch Systena Tizen tablet should eventually appear on Systena’s website. (Note: Systena Corp. seems to be a subsidiary of, or in some other manner related to, Shisutena Ltd.)

July 12, 3013 update: Tizen Indonesia posted the following YouTube video demonstrating the Systena Tizen tablet on July 9th, in conjunction with this blog post (in Indonesian).

Systena Tizen Tablet demonstration


A short introduction to Tizen appears in the box below. Other Tizen-related stories appear in the Related Posts list below the box.

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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28 responses to “World's first Tizen tablet?”

  1. James says:

    It’s barely based on meego at all, MeR/Nemo (& by extension Sailfish) is far more heavily based on meego.
    This is a common (annoying) misconception, because of the way Tizen was born out of the ashes of the meego project.

    • jezra says:

      I’d say it isn’t based on Meego at all

      • James says:

        I’ve no doubt there’s some esoteric code that it shares in common thanks to up-streaming.
        Some of the “glue” at the the lower layers, mostly to help with their “native support”.
        But yes, overwhelmingly it’s not based on MeeGo…

        • Eric Brown says:

          Fair points, condensing a bit too much there, although I did at least list MeeGo second. In the past, as for example in an earlier Tizen story linked to from this tablet story I made it clear that it has far less MeeGo code than Sailfish. We will delete the offending paragraph.

    • LinuxGizmos says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ve removed the previous condensed description of Tizen and substituted our standard “About Tizen” box. For those who are interested, here is the removed text:

      Based on a combination of LiMo, MeeGo, and to a much lesser extent Samsung’s Bada, the Tizen is focused on HTML5, but unlike Firefox OS, is not entirely dependent on it. Tizen also offers a native application layer, in addition to supporting development via HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. The open source project is hosted by the Linux Foundation.

    • Peter says:

      Why would you choose to feel “annoyed” because of what people might think about a software product?!

      • Saul says:

        Why would you choose to make such inane response, to what is a entirely understandable reaction to a completely misinformed mainstream?

  2. Steve Barker says:

    I wanted a Bada tablet, but one never appeared. I bet this will not make it to the UK either.

  3. David says:

    Un-named A9 Quad Core 1.4 processor seems like a RK3188. The RK3188 is usually paired with a Mail400 graphics chip. Allwinner makes a similar A7 chip called the A31 paired with PowerVR graphics

    See this article at Liliputing.

  4. Ken Corey says:


    To create a market for another operating system like this there needs to be a compelling experience or tie in.

    Tablet prices are low and dropping fast. Can’t justify competing on price.

    iOS has over a billion apps. Android has hundreds of thousands. Can’t compete on software (ask Microsoft).

    There’s no obvious tie in (like blackberry had with the playbook and existing blackberry users).

    Can’t see why they’re bothering, to be honest.

    • Saul says:

      Tired, very tired & old argument….
      It’ll be proven completely & utterly dumb in time, join that queue of dumbness, it’s befitting.

    • ricegf says:

      Same old argument, same old response.

      PalmOS had the market locked up, no need for Windows Mobile. WinMo had the market locked up, no need for Symbian. Symbian had the market locked up, no need for iOS. iOS had the market locked up, no need for Android. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      You’re living in the age of explosive innovation in mobile environments – Tizen, Jolla, Ubuntu, FirefoxOS, Win8, BB10, and so on – and you’re missing the fun with your heads down, “nothing else is worth noticing” attitude. Most won’t survive, of course, but assuming that we’ve reached the “ultimate evolution” of mobile environments is foolhardy IMHO.

      Me, I having a *blast*!!!

      • Saul says:

        Anyone who believes all that “there can only be 2-3” propaganda BS are completely retarded.
        I look forward to them sucking my wang in 10yrs when there’s AT LEAST 3 players, all inter-operating nicely (on some lvl) thanks to the “next web”.

        • Ken Corey says:

          Oh dear, I seem to have stepped on someone’s pet peeves. Saul, I wonder if you are a Samsung employee astro-turfing here?

          At any rate, you both misunderstand my point.

          I’m not pooh-poohing the concept of another tablet OS. (I was bummed that both PalmOS and Blackberry’s efforts have tanked.)

          I just don’t understand the pain that this tablet is trying to solve. Android/iOS have great networking, have devices that provide as much/more power than this device, have *lots* of apps, a touch interface, easy syncing of apps/data, costs are falling, and their battery life is ever increasing.

          ricegf, I completely take your point. I feel in each of those cases there was a glaring deficiency in the market leaders…allow me to explain in more detail:

          PalmOS -> Windows Mobile – At the time, palm had no corporate credibility, and the very strange hot syncing to load items to the device. Additionally, networking was…well…painful would have been a tactful way to put it. Windows Mobile “addressed” both of those concerns, to some degree, with an OS that offered more capability.

          WinMo, AFAICT, never had the market “locked up”. Symbian, especially in its heyday was a serious competitor. All the Symbian devices out there were quite cool (Psion, the netbook, etc). Underpowered by today’s standards, but quite cool. They just weren’t quite as corporate-cool or ubiquitous as WinMo.

          Symbian->iOS is an interesting comparison because the symbian interface was very old school (keyboard, or keyboard + stylus) in the early 2000’s. iOS provided touch capabilities, with Apple’s restrictions on what you could/couldn’t do.

          iOS -> Android made sense because Apple plays their own game and that’s it. Nobody else can play in hardware, and you’re only allowed to play in software through Apple’s largess. Android capitalised on this, and that’s why Android took off.

          So, my original point: The /only/ potential hole I see for Tizen is that Samsung has been creating its own layer over Android for their devices, to the point that Android being underneath is hardly mentioned at all.

          The next step is to release Tizen devices with the same layer, so that they /look/ to be the same, aiming for device lock-in in a similar way to Apple’s Virtuous Halo effect. You can already see this in Samsung’s effort to tie their phones to their Smart TV’s. A Tizen tablet would slot in to that effort…

          *shrug* I agree I like playing with new devices, and it’ll be interesting to see where this leads.


          • Saul says:

            Astroturfing for Samsung? That’s funny, only someone strongly aligned to one camp or 3 could have that enter as their 1st thought. No sir, not the least bit interested in Samsung and their world domination. I simply have the ability to look at all the facts on the table, & reason. The worldwide market is “still” growing exponentially, no one has it truly sewn-up, it is (& likely will remain well into the foreseeable future) a very fluid sector.

          • ricegf says:

            I will also. I appreciate the clarification of your point.

            Are you aware that Samsung promises that Tizen will run *all* Android apps, including those with native code? They’re both using exactly the same kernel (as is Ubuntu, btw), so while 100% sounds a little ambitious, I’m ready to believe at least 95%+. Solves the driver problem, too.

            Jolla is in the same camp – full Android app compatibility, plus Qt and HTML5 apps. And while Ubuntu will not ship with Android compatibility built-in, as they want to reward native Qt and HTML5 developers, they will have an Android VM in the Ubuntu Software Center for those who care to use it.

            In a sense, Dalvik (the Android VM) is becoming the lingua franca of the mobile world, currently (at least) more ubiquitous and certainly more capable than HTML5 and JavaScript. If that plays out with excellent compatibility as is currently claimed, app availability may become irrelevant for new platforms.

            As to what Tizen offers the consumer that Android does not – Bada compatibility is the only thing that strikes me off-hand in the mobile space (Samsung did sell a few million of those, or so I hear). But in the broader computing marketplace, a much more usable desktop, TV, and auto environment also should not be overlooked. It’s sorta-predecessor MeeGo had the same cross-device goals as Ubuntu has today – the same kernel and complementary interfaces for phones, tablets, desktop / laptops, TVs and autos.

            But it offers Samsung some working separation from Google’s control over Android (open as that is), and that’s undoubtedly its primary raison d’être.


            • Ken Corey says:

              Ah…100% Android compatibility? Now that /is/ interesting. I hadn’t heard that.

              If they can truly deliver that, then they are Android + Samsung ecosystem instead of just Samsung with a new platform.

              Even more interesting…if Samsung walks away from Android altogether and onto Tizen, they’ll effectively steal ownership of the Android market away from Google, as they’re the only ones making any money in Android right now (

              Assuming they get Tizen out there and 100% compatible, they could then start tweaking things, and Google will have to follow their lead to give the other Android manufacturers a ghost of a chance to stay in it.

              That’s gutsy: copy Apple’s products slavishly, pay $1 billion (or less) in fines to get a $5 billion per quarter business, and then steal control of Android from Google.

              Whew! So do I start learning Korean or Chinese? As a developer, I’m going to have to learn one of these languages to keep a job.

              What a puzzle!


              • ricegf says:

                “…if Samsung walks away from Android altogether and onto Tizen, they’ll effectively steal ownership of the Android market away from Google…”

                Well, that’s certainly a danger, and I think one Google recognizes. I think one motivation behind their Nexus program (though probably not the major one) is to help companies like HTC and LG compete better in the Android space to sustain balance.

                But I would also point out that, like Android, Tizen is fully open source – it’s actually a joint project with Intel and the Linux Foundation. Other companies can build Tizen phones and tablets and such, just as they can build Android devices. Making money on either is, of course, the trick. :-)

                I honestly believe that Samsung’s interest is less in becoming strategically independent of Google, though there is some of that, but more to broaden Samsung’s offerings into non-mobile and even brand new markets. They just have more influence over Tizen than they do over Android.

                Keeping competition in the market is one reason I would prefer a Jolla or Ubuntu phone over Android now. Just waiting for them to hit the market. (Since I’ve been with T-Mobile in the USA for many years, I’m delighted that their parent company Deutsche Telekom joined 7 others in Canonical’s Carrier Advisory Group. I’m hoping that leads to their first Ubuntu phone by Christmas – even if it’s a limited availability “preview phone” or “developer edition”. If not, maybe I’ll join The Other Half. ;-)

              • Saul says:

                Canonical moved way down my list when they announced plans to effectively control the entire graphics stack in the mobile F/OSS world, when it has long since been proven it was entirely unnecessary, & very clearly a grab for power/control. And canonical has a quite a long track-record with that sort of behavior, so if it smells like a power-grab, it probably is. Jolla is far more interesting & is still way ahead, Canonical may release a handset by Dec this yr, but if they release that soon it won’t be using Mir/MirX. There’s no way that will be ready until Q1 2014 “at the earliest”.

              • ricegf says:

                @Saul: “Canonical moved way down my list when they announced plans to effectively control the entire graphics stack in the mobile F/OSS world, when it has long since been proven it was entirely unnecessary, & very clearly a grab for power/control”


                First, Mir is fully open source, licensed under GPL / LGPL 3 with (of course) some MIT X and Boost components. You can get the code from Not much “control” there.

                Second, since Ubuntu is the only project to adopt Mir, Canonical can hardly be accused of “effectively controlling the entire graphics stack in the mobile F/OSS world”. It would make more since to lob this accusation at Google and their SurfaceFlinger and Skia stack, since they control 75% of the smartphone market across the globe. Of course, they are Apache licensed…

                Third, it certainly hasn’t been “proven” to be unnecessary. We’ve all been waiting patiently for Wayland, but I could just as easily “prove” that X is fine – after all, my N900 is X-based and works just great. However, Wayland is slower to arrive than anticipated, and frankly, I can just as easily assert that the competition will be good for them. Diversity is a feature, not a bug.

                Finally, remember that Canonical is a business attempting to deliver a project, while X, Wayland, and Mir are technologies available for application by anyone. Canonical is striving to produce a compelling product to compete with the Android and iOS juggernauts. I’m more than willing to cut them some slack until I see what they produce, and render judgement then. If it’s worthwhile, I’ll buy. If not, there’s always Jolla, FirefoxOS, Tizen, webOS, … or Android.

                Please allow me to offer this counter-example. A few years back, Nokia purchased a little dual-licensed graphics library called Qt that was the basis for KDE. After a couple of years of heavy investment, they accepted a $1 billion check from Microsoft to forget the whole thing. However, since Qt was licensed under LGPL 2.1, it (and KDE) survived Nokia’s fickle finger, and Qt went on to power Plasma Active, Jolla, and of course now Canonical’s new Unity.

                I completely understand that you prefer that Canonical just assemble off-the-shelf libre components, and I’m fine if you’d prefer to join The Other Half; I may as well once the Jolla phone ships. But I would encourage you to dial back the absolutist statements. Building a successful alternate OS to avoid an Android monoculture is an incredibly difficult challenge. I’m willing to give Canonical the benefit of the doubt even when they seem a little NIH on such a critical component, as long as they are keeping their work properly licensed for all to share. I hope you will, too.

              • Saul says:

                I’m well aware of the licensing situation, you apparently are not, inform yourself of the CLA clauses, they unnecessarily complicate the situation, & most certainly do insert a level of control. There’s some excellent discussion on the matter over the last 6mth over at phoronix & similar communities that aren’t centered around any one distro. No time to go into great detail ATM unfortunately, & no time to address the other points either, being busy sux.

              • Saul says:

                “Third, it certainly hasn’t been “proven” to be unnecessary. We’ve all been waiting patiently for Wayland, but I could just as easily “prove” that X is fine – after all, my N900 is X-based and works just great. However, Wayland is slower to arrive than anticipated, and frankly, I can just as easily assert that the competition will be good for them. Diversity is a feature, not a bug.”

                Yes it was, you must’ve have missed all the detailed to & fro’s between those affiliated with the wayland project & those instigating mir, & subsequent discussions at phoronix, google+, & elsewhere. Look them up, it was well & truly proven as a unnecessary duplication, the technical reasons canonical cited were all shot down, one by one, it’s purely a political decision, canonical attempted to paint it as the total opposite to that initially.

            • jezra says:

              Can you please provide a link to where Samsung has promised that Tizen will run Android apps? Currently, Tizen does not have the ability run Android apps. There is third-party software that should allow Tizen to run Android apps, but the software is not part of Tizen.

              • Ken Corey says:

                Hey Jezra, I found this link:

                The devil is in the details…but it says it runs Android apps with 100% compatibility (not the same as running 100% of all apps, native or otherwise).

                I’ll believe it when I see it, obviously. I’m interested to see if Google allows these devices into the Play Store, and if not how is it going to keep them out?


              • Saul says:

                The provider is openmobile, and unlike sailfish, it it is NOT a central focus of the tizen project.
                It has recently become more of a focus, but openmobile has a long history of lots of hype, & very little delivery.
                Myriad, who’s proving the android layer for sailfish, has a much less shady track-record, & a more interesting implementation.

            • Saul says:

              You’re confusing libyhybris with android app compatibility, they’re two very distinct/different things. At no time has 100% (or even close) app compatibility been “guaranteed”, it’s likely though, that a very sizable portion will work well enough. The 2 implementations for sailfish & tizen are very different in how they work, which will prove to be better (or just different) remains to be seen.

              • ricegf says:

                Thanks for the info, Saul. I may be wrong, but at the Tizen launch event I understood Samsung to commit to full Android compatibility. I haven’t delved into the technical side of running apps with native extensions outside of true Android, and hadn’t heard of libhybris until you pointed me in the right direction to google, so I’ll withhold comment until a Tizen device ships and compatibility can be tested. I’ll leave the proof to the pudding.

                I haven’t had this much fun since dozens of totally incompatible, wildly creative, and often bizarre home computers were competing in the 1980s. :-D

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