Samsung’s challenge to Apple and Google stumbles; Tizen operating system on shaky ground

“An ambitious effort by Samsung Electronics Co. to roll out smartphones powered by a new operating system is on shaky ground,” Jonathan Cheng reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The world’s largest smartphone maker is investing a large amount of resources on an operating system called Tizen to challenge the mobile software duopoly of Apple Inc. and Google Inc.”

“But some of the world’s major wireless carriers are beginning to pull their support of phones slated to run the platform,” Cheng reports. “Tizen (pronounced TAI-zen) also has had trouble attracting large developers of applications that are increasingly at the center of the user experience.”

“Samsung’s longer-term aim is for Tizen—named to evoke a Zen-like “tying together” of different devices and functions—to serve as a unified operating system that can coordinate functions on every device a consumer owns, including a smartphone, refrigerator, television set and washing machine, all of which the company makes,” Cheng reports. “Prototype Tizen devices, one of which has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, look and feel similar to those running Android, with which it shares a common programming code base. But those involved in the project say the prototypes can’t be judged as final products, and Tizen’s central appeal is that it allows for more customization of the interface by carriers and manufacturers than are possible with Android.”

Cheng reports, “Yet industry executives and analysts say it has been difficult to get Tizen off the ground.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scott M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Egg on Samsung’s face: Docomo dumps the official launch of Tizen OS smartphones at the last moment – January 17, 2014
Samsung slows Tizen development, sources say – August 12, 2013
Samsung’s half-CEO looks past Android: We want Tizen to be on everything – August 6, 2013
Hands-on: Tizen OS looks a lot like Android, which means it looks a lot like Apple’s iOS (with video) – February 26, 2013

27 Comments

  1. “Tizen devices, one of which has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, look and feel similar to those running Android, with which it shares a common programming code base.”

    Stealing a stolen product. Is there no honor among thieves?

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. Thieves stealing from thieves. Apparently there is no honor among thieves of the tech variety. I think too there is resistance handing OS dominance to anything but a U.S. based concern. South Korea having mobile OS bragging rights? Not going to happen.

    2. Using open source isn’t stealing. Allowing forks is one of the many benefits of open source.

      Samsung wants to separate from its dependency on Google. But I think they are going to find that very difficult. Google maintains proprietary control of the main apps, Google Maps and other API’s.

      1. “There have always been closed source Google apps. Originally, the group consisted mostly of clients for Google’s online services, like Gmail, Maps, Talk, and YouTube. When Android had no market share, Google was comfortable keeping just these apps and building the rest of Android as an open source project. Since Android has become a mobile powerhouse though, Google has decided it needs more control over the public source code.

        For some of these apps, there might still be an AOSP equivalent, but as soon as the proprietary version was launched, all work on the AOSP version was stopped. Less open source code means more work for Google’s competitors. While you can’t kill an open source app, you can turn it into abandonware by moving all continuing development to a closed source model. Just about any time Google rebrands an app or releases a new piece of Android onto the Play Store, it’s a sign that the source has been closed and the AOSP version is dead.”

        http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/

  2. Duh! You think that Apple programed IOS in a day? Why do you think Apple is going to court over all of the copycats of it’s operating system. Because it took years of development that’s why. Samsung is the biggest copycat, thief, of just about everyones products. They will now see just how hard it is to get an original product going and I’m sure they still copied a lot in the process from Android I’l bet.

  3. A desktop and mobile OS should have been their top priority the second they saw the iPhone.

    That said, I’d still love to see Tizen moderately succeed if only for the bruising that Android will take.

    1. Most companies are simply cheap and lazy and will do anything they can to maximize their profits. You think Android would have taken off the way it did if companies had to actually pay for for licenses? You think every company in the world would suddenly say, “Hey, let’s get into the smartphone business” if they had to set up licensing agreements or create their own OS. They’re barely making money as it is selling Android devices as it is and Google is fully supporting all of them for nothing.

      Google now has all these companies by the short hairs and all these companies are fully dependent upon Google like a junkie on free smack. Android is now a bad habit which is almost impossible to break.

  4. There is plenty of computing power in an iPhone or AppleTV to run these connected devices without having a “computer”, an OS, and an update/upgrade fragmentation issue within each of your appliances that you expect to last many years.

    Give me Bluetooth/WiFi appliances and devices connected to a single household “brain” or the cloud over a bunch of fragmented chaos that Tizen or Android would deliver.

      1. The only reason I can think of for a connected refrigerator is that in the 15 years of owned it I left the door slightly ajar and it “warmed up to about 45 degrees in about 2 hours before I noticed it. It would have been nice to be warned on the iPhone.

        Perhaps to be notified that the dishwasher, dryer or washing machine is done would be handy. But weighing the risks of being hacked vs the possible benefits, I think I will not be an early adopter. 🙂

      2. Look up the terms “Zigbee” and “Time-of -Use electric rates”. The future 0of electric utilities is to have everyone on TOU rates. TOU rates will offer electricity at lower rates at non-peak usage times (3am), and higher rates at peak usage times (6pm). Most utilities with smart metering systems are already offering TOU rates on a voluntary basis. Eventually, you will either be required to be on TOU or the cost of a non-TOU rate will be prohibitive. The various state public utility commissions approve rate structures for electric utilities, and believe me, they are slavering at the thought of the social engineering possible with TOU rates.

        There are some very real benefits to TOU rates. The average power plant these days runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars to build. If a utility needs an extra 10% of generating capacity for 2 hours a day, say 300 Megawatts, that means building a 500 MW facility at a cost of perhaps $200M and running it at 60% capacity for 2 hours a day. The alternative is to go to the spot market on the grid and buy the extra 10%. A megawatt/hour on the spot market can easily and often cost $1000. So 300MW for 2 hours at $1000 each runs about $600,000. For a utility with a total supplied load of 3000MW that can be more than the profit they take in for the other 22 hours that day. The solution preferred by the PUC is to get people to use less electricity for that 2 hours per day. That avoids the utility going broke on the spot market, or building a $200M power plant that runs at 6% capacity.

        This is where TOU rates come in. If electricity is significantly more expensive for that two hour peak every day, say 30 cents per kilowatt hour, versus 8 cents during non-peak usage times, people will shift their usage if they are aware of the difference. They will do their laundry after 8 pm, set their hot tubs to run their filter programs after 8 pm, and cut off or reduce their air conditioning or electric heat during those hours. How do we make people aware of the rate changes? Their new smart meters become a wireless hub for energy usage throughout the household. The meter talk to smart appliances. It tells the refrigerator not to run from 4pm to 6pm. It tells the thermostat to reduce HVAC load during that time period. It also broadcasts the current rate for electric usage to a display placed where customers can see it, and maybe even sets off an audible alarm. A smart dish washer or washer/dryer can be loaded after dinner and set to run at 3 am, or whenever the meter signals that rates are low.

        This is the future of energy usage and electric rates. Most of this is already in place. The meters are there already for about half the US. The rest of it is either in production on a limited basis or exists as working prototypes in electric utility engineering facilities around the country. So get ready to manage your electricity usage, or pay through the nose for it.

  5. …longer-term aim is for Tizen… to serve as a unified operating system that can coordinate functions on every device a consumer owns, including a smartphone, refrigerator, television set and washing machine

    IOW: To bot your entire home. 😯

  6. “Tizen’s central appeal is that it allows for more customization of the interface by carriers and manufacturers than are possible with Android.”

    This is EXACTLY what Android was missing: a more fragmented user experience!

  7. I was really counting on Tizen OS to slow down Android’s overall growth because Samsung sells so many Android-based devices. Now even those hopes have been dashed. If it hadn’t been for Android, Apple’s iPhone would have easily seen much higher sales. As it is, anyone can freely build smartphones based on Android. I honestly hope Samsung continues work on Tizen OS but with the recent agreement Samsung made with Google it doesn’t seem as though Samsung’s heart is really into it.

  8. “Tizen—named to evoke a Zen-like “tying together” of different devices and functions—to serve as a unified operating system that can coordinate functions on every device a consumer owns”

    Isn’t that the exact premise behind Microsoft’s mobile and desktop strategy?
    I like it a lot.

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