Tizen. The very word stirs up the emotions of Nokia fanboys past and the Samsung loyal now, and of course the Android community as a whole. Tizen is Samsung’s new operating system, built in collaboration with Intel and other companies, and is built upon the failed MeeGo operating system that was once built by Intel and Nokia. Samsung rolled its failed Bada operating system into MeeGo in February of this year to create Tizen. Noticing a trend here? Yeah, us too. Tizen is essentially a TouchWiz-looking open-source operating system, much like Samsung’s custom versions of Android that ships with all their phones. Tizen seems to be Samsung’s answer to Android, which is odd considering just how massive Samsung has become thanks to Android. However according to an interview conducted by CNet UK with Alvin Kim, who is the principal engineer at Samsung Electronics, Samsung is stating that Tizen will co-exist with Android, not replace it. Kim further explains Samsung’s stance on Tizen and its reception in the market:
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“I expect Tizen will evolve very quickly because of the open-source community,” Kim predicted, but declined to comment on exactly when we’ll see the first phones on sale running Tizen, rather than Android, saying only that he hopes “some devices will be given to the market by the end of next year.”
We’ve seen a few examples of Tizen already running on some phones and devices, including Samsung’s NX300M camera, but no official availability or supported devices quite yet. Tizen has also garnered the support of 36 more companies, announced just a few days ago, and seems to be getting far more support than MeeGo or Bada ever did. Then there’s also the question of efficiency and whether or not Samsung is just pinning its hopes on the lower-end markets for Tizen exposure since they announced that Tizen Lite can run on phones with as little at 256MB of RAM. Samsung is also planning on using Tizen in all of its electronics, from TVs to fridges and anything inbetween.
Right now Samsung uses a proprietary operating system for many of its electronics, outside of its phone lines obviously, and will probably do well replacing that OS with Tizen in the future. Will Tizen garner the support of the community when it launches as Samsung implies? App support is king if we’ve learned anything from Windows Phone adoption rates and the reasons people don’t pick those phones up. This means Samsung has a lot of work to do to cater to developers to prove to people that their new OS is worthwhile. For the time being we can still expect Samsung’s flagship phones, like the Galaxy S5, to ship with Android for a while to come still.