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Samsung to release smartphone based on Tizen OS

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December 31, 2012

We won't likely see a Tizen-based Galaxy flagship anytime soon

We won't likely see a Tizen-based Galaxy flagship anytime soon

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Are the smartphone wars between iOS and Android, or Apple and Samsung? Android powers Samsung's wildly successful Galaxy phones, but Samsung is also the only Android manufacturer seeing big profits. The Korean company may be wondering the same thing, as it's reportedly testing the waters with a smartphone based on the Tizen OS.

According to Daily Yomiuri, Samsung will launch its first Tizen-based smartphone sometime in 2013. Details are scant beyond that, but Samsung (along with Intel) is part of the platform's Technical Steering Group. The open-source Tizen is Linux-based, and a member of the Linux Foundation.

Who needs who?

Google may fear that Samsung is bigger than Android (original via Shutterstock)

It would be shocking if Samsung threw its full marketing prowess behind its initial Tizen device, but the move does raise questions about its long-term relationship with Google. Samsung already has a Windows Phone 8 device in the pipeline, and Google is reportedly throwing its weight behind a new Motorola flagship. Perhaps neither company is comfortable putting all of its eggs in one basket, and is taking precautionary measures.

If Samsung senses that its Galaxy brand is bigger than Android's, then the Korean manufacturer could eventually branch out on its own. It could go the Amazon route, and release a Galaxy Android phone without Google apps (Play Store, Maps, etc.), or it could drop Android altogether and focus on Tizen.

Both moves would be far too risky in 2013 (ask Apple how easy it is to build your own mapping service). But if Samsung spends years investing in Tizen, building third-party app support, it could potentially shift the Galaxy brand away from Android.

Back to the present

These, however, are potential long-term strategies. In the near-term, expect to see a low-to-mid range Tizen-powered Samsung handset. It could make an appearance at the Mobile World Congress in February, but no dates are confirmed. Samsung's Galaxy S IV, meanwhile, should be exactly what you'd expect: a high-end Android phone chock-full of Google apps.

Source: Daily Yomiuri via The Next Web

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
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10 Comments

Android is a Linux-based operating system.

Initially developed by Android, Inc., whom Google financially backed and later purchased in 2005

Android is open source and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers. Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language.

Robert DuBois
31st December, 2012 @ 04:19 pm PST

Tizen may not only be limited to mobile phones. It started out as the LiMo application platform and was renamed to Tizen after LiMo and MeeGo (linux OS) merged in 2011.

MeeGo was intended to run on phones, tablets, SmartTV's, IPTV set tops etc.

I really have no plans to buy a Tizen device instead of an Android one but it makes sense for them and others to have a backup plan in place.

A lot of companies are still using Nokia's close source Symbian for cheap feature phones anyway so they might be able to use a stripped down Tizen version to compete with Symbian.

Android can be run cheaply but the problem is it is meant to be used with a data plan and not everyone wants a $100/month cell phone bill.

A Tizen version meant to be functional without a data plan could have some appeal and there is always still WiFi.

Daishi
1st January, 2013 @ 03:06 pm PST

Android isn't as "open source" as everyone seems to think. Try, for example, to download the latest copy of it. The "source" is kept secret, and only released when it's at least one version behind - you generally never get the opportunity to download the actual current version.

It's nothing like "Real" open source, where you can download the latest goodies, roll your own changes, compile it up, and run it on your device. It's basically riddled with proprietary stuff, and delay-released to prevent the community from enjoying normal "open source" benefits.

christopher
1st January, 2013 @ 06:43 pm PST

@christopher

The way Google handles the Android source is pretty smart. Changes to the Linux Kernel are always GPL and the current build is always available under GPL v2.

The rest of Android is available under Apache license (which is also considered open source).

Currently Android development is at 4.2 but there are still bugs. Android 4.1 is stable and the source code is available.

This is smart for 2 reasons.

Reason 1, if they didn't charge hardware manufacturers for early access to code in the development tree the manufacturers wouldn't pay Google any money used to develop Android.

Reason 2. Most the custom ROMs (which are already kinda buggy) would be based on development builds that aren't necessarily intended for consumers yet. This was the reason given by Google for the delay of Honeycomb code.

Now onto your last point about "riddled with proprietary stuff", I assume you mean that Android allows close source Applications and drivers to run on it? Some of them are written by Google (play store, nav, maps etc.) but most of them aren't. Android the operating system is still open source and has had more success than any open source OS in the past.

I can see advocating for open source software and operating systems but advocating that nothing should ever be or ever support closed source software is short sighted.

Replicant is a completely open Android fork if you have some kind of moral issues against allowing filthy closed binaries from contaminating your Utopian FOSS master race world view. Just don't be surprised if after you get in running you realize nobody is writing applications for it. I wonder why?

Daishi
1st January, 2013 @ 07:36 pm PST

I can understand why Samsung is going with MeeGo , they want to get into the ad space, they got smart hub and there is open x . Google has Double click. open x has modules, can be set up quickly and globally, but cant be easily added in Android....

Eric Malatji
2nd January, 2013 @ 10:36 am PST

I think Samsung is going to see very quickly that people were buying its phones for android (and AMOLED hi-def screens, but that's secondary). In fact, one of the problems that other companies have had (pre-Google Motorola for instance) is the inclusion of too much of their own crud on an android "overlay". Frankly, I know a lot of people who are even moving away from Samsung over this issue - all it would take to kill the S3 is a screen that's more visible in full daylight with a stock unlocked boot-loader running the same hardware everyone else has.

Charles Bosse
2nd January, 2013 @ 02:37 pm PST

Motorola will give you an unlock code for the Photon Q, free, no questions asked. The only gotcha is that if you ask for the code your warranty goes *poof* even if you never unlock the bootloader.

To be a success, Tizen must follow the same path Android did, the same path just about every successful OS aside from Apple's have had to follow - get onto as many manufacturers' hardware as possible, as quickly as possible.

Apple became a success primarily because they were the first computer company with a micro computer ready to run out of the box. Plug the cords into ports, pop in a floppy and turn it on.

Every other micro computer in the late 1970's required some technical knowledge to assemble, some even required soldering some wires or in kit form soldering all the components to circuit boards. Things like keyboards and video output were expensive extra cost peripherals and software was yet another extra cost "option". The IMSAI and Altair were pure nerdcraft machines for people who could practically speak in binary code. Apple ][ was more familiar to people who knew how to use a typewriter.

Apple put it all in the box for one price. Nobody else did that for a home use computer until Texas Instruments produced the 99-4.

If someone else had beaten Apple to the same sort of integrated package, that company would be suing Samsung today and it'd be "Steve who? Oh, those two guys who made a few crappy computers in their garage and went broke."

Gregg Eshelman
2nd January, 2013 @ 06:36 pm PST

In light of the Ubuntu mobile OS announcement - I would have to say if Samsung is going to put an upstart Linux OS on a phone I wish it was Ubuntu rather than Tizen. I would be FAR more interested in Ubuntu's approach as it would eventually mean you could run full Linux desktop apps as well as touch mobile apps on a tiny device. Quad core ARM? Very soon will be at least the equivalent of an Intel i3 or i5 even. And your entire computer then actually does fit in your pocket. MS is trying to go in that direction with Win 8 - but doesn't deliver, as x86 Win apps don'r run on the phone OS, and you can't install phone apps on Win 8 desktops. (A handful of Metro apps seem to be ported to both.)

A Galaxy Ubuntu would be pretty dang cool.

HerrDrPantagruel
4th January, 2013 @ 03:36 pm PST

Tizen is also planning to offer the Android Compatibility Layer (ACL). Therefore, in theory, Samsung could have its cake and eat it too. See http://openmobileww.com/products.php for more info.

cfg83
4th January, 2013 @ 05:35 pm PST

Amazing review. Tizen is especially important since it has backing from Intel, Samsung, Docomo and other important players in the field.

Lenin VJ Nair
8th February, 2013 @ 05:58 am PST
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