Samsung To Sell Open Source Tizen OS Smartphones in 2013
Samsung plans to sell a smartphone based on the open source Tizen operating system sometime in 2013 in conjunction with Japanese carrier NTT Docomo, a move aimed at supplying mobile device giants Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) with some new competition, according to a report in Japan’s Daily Yomiuri.
The Tizen OS is a Linux-based operating system springing from Nokia’s defunct 2010 MeeGo project with Intel (NSDQ: INTC), subsequently taken over by the chip maker and Samsung and overseen by the Linux Foundation, as described here. The Tizen OS is designed to support tablets, netbooks, handsets, smart TV and in-vehicle Infotainment systems.
Samsung confirmed in a statement provided to CNET that the Korean mobile device maker will rollout “competitive Tizen devices within this year.” The vendor declined to provide any further details other than to say that it will sell additional Tizen-based devices “based on market situations.”
According to the Daily Yomiuri, Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile telecom company, is alone among Japan’s carriers in not selling Apple’s iPhone, and, as a result, customers have flocked away in large enough numbers to prompt it to look for mobile alternatives, hence the Tizen project with Samsung which it hopes will allay some of its subscription losses.
What’s in it for Samsung, whose Android-based Galaxy S III has led the Korean manufacturer to smartphone market share dominance? Might it be concerned enough about Apple’s assault on Android to want to cozy up with the Tizen OS to give it a bit of a cushion should Google’s OS slip? Anything is possible, of course, but the likelihood is that Samsung is just as interested in Tizen’s ability to run tablets and televisions as it is smartphones. In short, Tizen may give Samsung another way to expand its portfolio of mobile devices.