Over the past several years, Samsung Electronics made countless efforts to become less dependent on third-party component manufacturers and suppliers, partly in order to minimize the risks of supply shortages. Interestingly enough, some years ago the same company - together with Intel - also began working on its own mobile operating system called Tizen OS, yet Samsung Electronics and Intel were not the only ones involved in the platform’s development. Initially, more than 10 companies became members of the Tizen Alliance board of directors, but as the years went by, more and more companies seem to have lost interest in the platform and abandoned the Tizen Alliance one after another. Today, according to a recent report, the Tizen Alliance is left with only four members, including Samsung Electronics.
Tizen OS was initially viewed as a response to Android OS and iOS, and its goals were to become a powerful mobile platform able to openly compete with its rivals. However, while Samsung Electronics currently uses Tizen OS for a number of products, including home appliances, smart TVs, and wearables, only a handful of low and mid-range smartphones - including the rather unimpressive Samsung Z1 - have been released with Tizen OS in tow. Needless to say, the operating system in question has yet to challenge Google’s Android OS, and more Tizen Alliance members seem to lose interest in the platform. Reportedly, the Tizen Alliance now consists of only four members, namely Samsung Electronics, Intel, SK Telecom, and LG U+, with Intel now becoming the only board member whose headquarters are not located in South Korea. Meanwhile, Huawei, KT, NTT DoCoMo, and Orange Telecom have stepped down from the board of directors to become advisory board members, whereas Fujitsu left the board entirely. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo used to be one of the most enthusiastic partners in the platform’s early days of development, but today the mobile operator in question shows little-to-no interest in Tizen OS. In the meantime, Huawei is “not taking part in the Tizen OS at the moment” according to a company official, “largely due to the fact that Huawei changed its direction with its self-developed OS”.
Needless to say, Tizen OS seems to be struggling and as more partners keep abandoning the platform, Samsung Electronics might find it increasingly difficult to keep the Tizen Alliance alive. Nevertheless, Samsung seems to continue and have faith in its platform – at least in some areas - and aside from Tizen OS 3.0 expected to launch this fall, the company also plans to push Tizen OS into the automotive market as a platform for infotainment systems. In any case, the OS’ future seems somewhat uncertain and only time will tell what will eventually become of the Tizen Alliance.