On eve of WWDC, Samsung announces their first Tizen smartphone


Samsung is the world’s biggest Android device maker by a wide margin, but it has been developing Tizen as an alternative to Google’s operating system for quite some time. Tizen gives Samsung more control over its own future, allowing it to rely less on Google and more on its homegrown software. That becomes increasingly important as Google works to support other Android vendors and as Samsung tries to set itself apart from all the other handset makers in the market.

A tricky position for Samsung, stepping off the ledge of Android safety in a bid to take control of their own destiny.

NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest carrier and an early proponent of Tizen, in January scuttled its immediate plans to launch a Tizen-based smartphone. The company, which said it continues to support Tizen, made the move because of the lack of consumer demand beyond Android or Apple’s iOS.

It’ll be interesting to see if that lack of consumer demand for Tizen continues, or if Samsung can spend their way into relevance here.

One last note. Samsung’s Tizen Developer Conference is taking place this week in San Francisco. In my opinion, a tremendous act of hubris.

  • I wonder how many Tizen Developers are out there in the wild? 15? 30?

  • Herding_sheep

    And its basically just a duplication of TouchWiz/Android features/functions, with a different framework, but also based on Linux. Makes a ton of sense. Get the Android/TouchWiz feature set and design, without any of the apps. I bet consumers are just dying to have one.

    Microsoft has been a platform creator for as long as Apple, and look how much trouble they’ve had creating a viable third platform in the market. Building/maintaining a platform is not easy, even for the companies who have been doing this since the very beginning. Typical arrogant Samsung thinks they can just stroll right in with something that is likely even worse than Android in stability/polish/robustness, and expect developers to jump on over and consumers to want one.

    • TechManMike

      Yea, it’s really gonna be interesting to see how it all unfolds…

  • DaveChapin77

    Samsung says they will launch their Tizen phones with most focus in India among some other developing markets. Those places don’t use apps much, just the built in features (like Video, texting, camera). BUT they allow Samsung to build up a large base of users quickly and trot that out to the press. Sure these kinds of users are nearly worthless compared to users in JPN, USA, EUR, AUS, and so on. But since the press has been all but ignoring customer quality and focussing only on numbers, that same approach here would work in Samsung’s favor. Then once you have millions and millions of Tizen users, start marketing more to developers, and then start focussing marketing on App-using markets.

  • Moeskido

    I imagine the carrier-store salespeople who’ve been previously paid to push Samsung’s Android phones can just as easily be paid to push the Tizen product.

    If it’s cheap enough, many consumers won’t care much about which platform it’s running, as long as it works.

    • “Will this allow me to start something on my phone, then finish on my computer?”

      • Moeskido

        “Sure. It’s just like the iPhone. You’re gonna love it. See the pretty colors?”