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AH Primetime: Will Samsung’s Tizen OS Fail In The End?

January 8, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Everyone has heard of Samsung, no matter if you’re young or old. This Korean tech giant has been around for a long time and makes people think of various products, from TVs, refrigerators and microwaves to smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, Samsung has done it all. Samsung wasn’t exactly a big name in the mobile industry before, but with the help of Android they managed to beat out the competition and become the number 1 smartphone manufacturer in the world. The company has been on the rise for a long time, but 2014 wasn’t exactly the best year they ever had. Their profits took a dive and the company is looking for ways to get back on the right path. Samsung’s profit dropped 50% in China, which is their biggest loss this year, but they also took a hit all over the world except for the US.

Samsung’s appetite (or greed, whichever you think fits best) is rather significant, they were doing great with Android as their OS of choice, but they had to include a ton of their services (some of which can be considered bloatware) on their devices, which eventually made them perform poorly, especially the low and mid-range ones. Consumers got fed up with time and I actually blame Samsung’s software offering for their recent profit-related problems, but that’s just me, there are more factors there, I’m sure of that. Anyhow, we all know that Samsung is trying to push its own Linux-based OS out on the market, Tizen OS. This is not Samsung’s first attempt at their own OS though, they already tried to make waves with Bada OS, but that didn’t work out.

The company has delayed the launch of a Tizen-powered smartphone many times thus far and they finally released one during the Tizen Developer Summit in Russia in July 2014. Samsung Z is a mid-range offering, which features a WVGA PLS LCD display along with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. 3-megapixel (no AF) rear-facing and VGA front-facing cameras are also a part of this package, as well as Qualcomm’s dual-core processor manufactured by Spectrum. Samsung has priced this device similarly to the Xiaomi Redmi 1S handset, which offers a lot more punch for the buck.

Samsung really want to push the Tizen OS out on the market, but they’re facing many obstacles which I believe will eventually kill the OS altogether or will keep it running on very few devices, perhaps only wearables. Tizen definitely lacks the integration of popular services and Google and Microsoft (for example) have no intention of providing such services for Samsung. Developers aren’t particularly interested in making apps for Tizen OS either, why would they, they have nobody to sell those apps to. Samsung definitely has the financial power to push Tizen as long as they want, similar to what Microsoft was doing with Windows Phone until it (sort of) took off.

Samsung has a nasty habit of copying other companies services, which turn out mediocre in the end and very few people actually use them. There are a few charts included in the gallery below if you’re interested to take a deeper look at this, but Samsung’s ChatOn and Milk services are not exactly popular, they’re stagnant at best. Some services are used more though, like S Memo and S Voice. Anyhow, take a look at the charts below this article and you’ll get a far better look at what’s going on. Samsung is also missing some services that other companies have (maps and cloud storage service for example), they don’t even have their own versions of those services, so that’s a problem as well.

As I already mentioned, Samsung definitely has the financial power to keep Tizen alive as long as they want, but if they don’t manage to make it grow at a certain rate, I’m sure that the company will kill the OS altogether. In my humble opinion, Samsung could do a lot more by improving their TouchWiz offering than launching a completely “new” OS out on the market. The brand is there, their started improving their hardware offerings, all they have to do now is polish TouchWiz and remove a ton of those bloaty apps / services which they include with their OS and I believe their profits would get back on the right path. What do you think, will Tizen actually take off and become popular or not?