Samsung may adopt Tizen over Android for next-gen smartphones

Posted Jun 13, 2016 by James Walker
Samsung is considering using its Tizen operating system in "all" its future products, according to a new report. It would see new Samsung products favour Tizen above rivals. The company is said to be uneasy about its strong reliance on Google's Android.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge announced 21/02/2016
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge announced 21/02/2016
An unnamed Samsung executive informed the Korean Times this week that the company is considering developing a much larger ecosystem around Tizen. It is apparently using the Indian market as a "litmus test" to gauge consumer opinions on Tizen-powered smartphones.
In India, Samsung is releasing progressively cheaper smartphones that run Tizen rather than Android. The line is said to be doing well with the phones popular with consumers who have happily adopted Tizen.
"Samsung's Z-branded Tizen-powered phones are popular with Indian consumers," the executive told the Korean Times. "During the first quarter of this year, Samsung sold about 64 million phones there. This means that Tizen is proving its competitiveness."
With the unofficial test producing encouraging results, Samsung is said to be eager to roll Tizen out across its other products. In developed nations, Tizen has had little exposure beyond Samsung's range of Gear smartwatches. The company now wants to introduce consumers to Tizen phones, presenting them as a viable alternative to Android models.
The expansion would see Tizen adopted in "all" company devices. Tizen would become a first-class operating system within Samsung, viewed as an equal to Android and promoted heavily to app developers. It currently sees smartwatches, cameras and televisions as the next consumer goods to switch towards Tizen.
Samsung is reportedly making the move with the intention of reducing its reliance on Google's Android. Despite Android's open nature, Samsung is concerned that Android's close focus on mobile devices could restrict the development of its future devices.
"If you don't have your own ecosystem, then you will have no future. Tizen isn't just a platform developed for use with mobile devices," the executive said.
Tizen is an open-source operating system pioneered by Samsung and now overseen by the Tizen Alliance. After achieving some success on various devices, the project recently hit a major setback as six of the alliance's members left last week.
Samsung is reportedly viewing Tizen as the way forward though. It is increasing its promotion of the operating system to developers, hoping to attract more apps to the platform. It has hosted Tizen Developers Conferences to showcase its capabilities and inspire the creation of new apps.
Whether consumers will be willing to give up their Android devices to adopt what is still very much a niche product remains to be seen though. Without some major headline features, it is difficult to see Tizen gaining market share in the same manner as Google's Android.