To paraphrase Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory, "Oh Tizen, thou art a heartless bitch." I say this because Samsung has been teasing us about their new operating system, Tizen, for close to two years – in May 2012, they announced that HTC would release a Tizen powered smartphone later that year…no device. Then there were stories that the first Tizen phone would launch in February 2013…no device. Early in 2013, Samsung claimed that Tizen devices would be launched during 2013…no device. Later in 2013, Samsung announced that a high-end Tizen model would be out by August or September…and still no device. So you will forgive us if we do not get too excited about the most recent claim in a Chinese paper, the Mainichi, that Tizen and its corresponding App Store, will be announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014, in Barcelona, Spain, that Samsung will have a Tizen smartphone by early Spring and that Japan's NTT Docomo will release their Tizen smartphone by the end of 2014.
Tizen is an open source operating system based on Linux, and will co-exist with Android, according to spokespersons. The Tizen Association consists of U.S. Intel, Japan's Fujitsu and NTT Docomo, South Korean's Samsung and LG, China's Huawei, and European carriers, Vodafone and Orange – however, certainly Intel, Samsung, and NTT Docomo have spearheaded the project to add this third operating system.
What it really comes down to is that the Asian companies, want to "build a better mousetrap," that is open so that they do not have to rely on Google to improve Android. According to IDC research, Android has captured 81-percent share of the global smartphone market and Apple's iOS follows with 12.9-percent, and with that much control, mobile manufacturers have no say in how to make improvements, but must rely on Google and Apple.
Tizen, they claim, has no such constraints, and OEMs and carriers can adjust the OS to suit their needs. Furthermore, they state that it is "easy" to make an app run on Tizen and that the participating companies share in the cost of Tizen's development, allowing them to cut the costs/prices of their smartphones.
This all sounds like a bunch of double-talk to me and would create a great many fragmented Tizen operating systems – they want to break away from Android so they can "each" have more control over improvements and not have to wait for Google? It sounds like Samsung (the main player) wants to control both its hardware and software – sounds like a round, red, fruit that we all know. Whether Samsung's intentions are honorable or not, Tizen sounds like it is here to stay and what impact the world's largest Android smartphone manufacturer will have on Android is yet to be seen.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page what you think of this third mobile OS, Tizen – is it needed, should the mobile world welcome it with open arms, or should the Android world be terrified?