Is Tizen a Force to Be Reckoned With?

On November 9, 2013, something big happened. Samsung had finished the release of the most stable version of a new operating system for mobile devices, called Tizen. It serves as an alternative to Android, but is similar to Google’s operating system in many ways. Within the span of a few years, we’ve seen how other mobile platforms have been tried and ultimately failed. What makes Tizen any different? What are Samsung and Intel’s plans for the system? And what does Tizen imply for the future of mobile devices? It’s time to start discussing the OS as Samsung and Intel are starting to get serious about it!

tizen-alliance

There are tons of reasons why a company like Samsung would like to release a new mobile operating system, one of them being the fact that the platform would be independent of Google’s reign within it. Whenever someone makes an app purchase, some of that money goes not to Samsung, but to Google through its Play Store. This lack of a revenue opportunity for Samsung may have motivated it to make Tizen a new player in its mobile ecosystem of products. Sure, it gets a lot of profits from selling the mobile devices that run Android, but it’s as good a time as any for this mobile giant to take off the training wheels and release a unique phone running its own OS.

For Intel, Tizen presents a chance to flex its muscles in the mobile market. Qualcomm has long had a stranglehold on the entire scene. Working with Samsung might give Intel a chance to enter a Renaissance.

tizen-vs-android

Tizen barely makes much of an effort to set itself apart from Android. You can see in this review of the Samsung Tizen Z9005 the amount of similarities between the two operating systems at least in their settings:

There are some instances where Samsung’s OS sticks out, such as the higher emphasis on HTML5. There are other aesthetic differences, which you might notice in the video, but it “feels” like Android to the unsuspecting user. Whether Android and Tizen have major differences depends on who you ask. For example, a developer will see significant differences in the API structure for application development, but a regular user will say it’s a significantly-modified version of Android (quite akin to the modifications that Samsung has applied to its Galaxy line).

tizen-store

So far, there are not very many apps in the Tizen ecosystem, but Intel and Samsung are jointly offering a grand total of $4 million to developers to make great apps for the new platform in something known as the “Tizen App Challenge.” There are nine categories for applications and fifty-four different prizes, with the grand prize totaling $200,000 (for games).

As I’ve mentioned before, others have tried playing this game and lost. There are many reasons why Tizen might also go the way of the Dodo Bird. The platform has a lot to prove and has to start basically from scratch. Android already has an enormous stockpile of apps and features that solidify its place in the mobile market. Tizen has a lot to catch up with, but with the backing it’s getting, it’s likely to become at least a minor player in the big scheme of things.

Do you think Tizen is going to pull the rug from under Google’s nose? Or is it just going to be another novelty no one really wants to use? Post your opinion in a comment below!