Given Samsung's success with Android-based smartphones over the past couple of years, you might think the South Korean company wouldn't want to rock the boat. But that's not necessarily the case.
Samsung, which offers a broad portfolio of smartphone offerings, stands today as Apple's only real competition in the market. But now Samsung—which sells an estimated 40 percent of all Android smartphones—is making noise about offering phones based on Tizen, the Linux-based OS launched in 2011 to take on Android. Samsung has been a backer of Tizen from the get go.
According to International Data Corp., Android and Apple's iOS accounted for more than 90 percent of the smartphone market last year. But smartphone makers would love to see more OSes gain traction. One reason is there is a perception about lack of differentiation in Android phones. Another reason is that Google and Android are simply too powerful right now.
For Samsung, banking on Tizen may simply be consistent with the company's strategy to offer a broad portfolio with a little bit of everything to entice consumers. "I think that right now Samsung sees itself as a supermarket that has all the mixes and matches that you might want," said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc.
According to Kay, it's clear that Samsung is following in the footsteps of Apple in trying to control as much of its smartphones as possible. Just as Apple's iPhones and iPads use Apple's proprietary processors, Samsung has its own Exynos processor used in many Galaxy smartphones, though the company is also using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset for most Galaxy S4s.
ABI Research believes it's unlikely that Samsung will ever abandon Android altogether in favor of Tizen, particularly in light of the large number of Android handsets the company currently offers. According to ABI, Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, layered on top of Android, could be replicated on Tizen and other OS platforms to provide a consistent user experience across all the manufacturer’s designs.
Indeed, it's difficult to see Samsung ditching altogether a free OS that has helped it go head to head with Apple. But Kay believes it could eventually come to that. "Samsung might want to fork Android and go its own direction and not have Google looking over its shoulder," he said.
Currently Samsung shares 10% advertisement profit from Google ,but wants more. So Samsung hired many engineers from Russia and India in south Korea to develop their software systems these years, even invest some APP companies. It is a paradox that Samsung drop their BADA system before, but create new software system. Samsung has a big trouble strategy to foundry for other brand company likes Apple, but also develop their brand product as Apple competitor then lose Apple orders finally. Now software faces same situation and will happen again. Maybe we can see Samdroid (Samsung + Android) system in near future.
Let me give an example. Most of us now are dealing with taxes. Some taxcut software companies have Android and iPhone apps. They probably also have a small staff. But writing an app is not enough--you also have to support it. Writing an iPhone and Android app covers probably 95% or more of the market.
Assuming your software staff is fully busy, are you going to hire another software person to port the app to Tizen and to support it? How many sales will you get? More often than not it isn't going to happen. And people shopping for a phone are going to notice that most of the apps they'd be interested in will say iPhone and Android (if they even support both!) A few might even mention Microsoft. Would you buy a Tizen phone?
Smartphones are not self-contained like the phones of old. What people want now is to be able to run apps--not necessarily the apps developed by Samsung. I, as with most people, have some specific apps that I would have a hard time living without.
If Tizen is Linux based and will run Android apps, wouldn't that make it just a repackaged Android?
If it is very different from Android, but has added code to be able to run Android apps, then, like the Blackberry, it won't run a lot of Android apps well or at all. Are they planning to have a Tizen appstore? Do they think 100s of thousands of app developers are going to develop for Tizen? Heck even Microsoft is having problems getting developers to write apps for their phone, what chance does Tizen have?
All I can say is good luck.
I would think that is makes a lot of sense for Samsung to play in as many arenas as possible. Who knows what the long term will hold for the various OSes. If they can make a product that has the right features, performance, and cost it just makes sense to invest. While I do see the wisdom of sticking with what is working, I have to say if you are not looking forward you risk being left behind. Samsung should play the market and try any/all combinations that make business sense.
I can't dispute Samsung's strategy, however I don't see it being at all like Apple's, as the article says. There's a certain logic for a manufacturer of smart phones to *refrain* from becoming religiously tied to one OS, to one CPU, or any such self-imposed limitation. Samsung wants to sell smart phones, not religion.
Apple controls by exclusivity of its OS. Samsung does the opposite. Use as many OSs as make sense for the application, and become a strong or dominant player in all of them. This prevents third parties from being able to have undue leverage against Samsung. It's a good strategy.
Well I would advise Samsung to fix the laggy TouchWiz UI overlay first before doing an OS. HW and SW are totally different ball games. So I have my doubts about Samsung making it anywhere with Tizen in the near future. If they could somehow make Android apps work on Tizen, like what BB did.. that will be good start.
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