Finally Samsung delivers to its promise
Just last week Samsung finally released the long awaited Tizen run smartphone dubbed the Z1. We cannot finally tell what prompted the Korean giant to let go of whatever has been holding it back to release a Tizen run smartphone given the recent cancellations that have marred previous attempts to launch a Tizen powered handset. We’ve seen Samsung push this Operating system on different form factors year after year, and this time round the company has come out to declare it as it’s holy grail OS that will usher it into the future.
The Samsung Z1 the company's new Tizen phone
Tizen is what replaced Meego, an earlier attempt by Nokia and Intel into the connected world. It was designed to run on mobile devices, smart TVs, in vehicle infotainment systems, tablets among others though the OS failed miserably. It only got the light of the day on the likes of the Nokia N9, a well crafted smartphone but so short of what the competition offered at that particular time. It’s after this failed experiment that Espoo announced its intentions of abandoning Meego in favor of Windows Phone. Samsung & Intel joined forces to give us Tizen with a couple of other companies to form a consortium known as the Tizen association. What was left of Meego went to Jolla that finally culminated in the Sailfish OS.
Samsung NX 300M smart camera running Tizen
It should be noted that Tizen’s foray into the consumer electronics space surfaced with the launch of the Samsung NX 300M smart camera, the Gear Smart watches and recently Samsung announced on the just concluded CES in Las Vegas that Tizen will power it’s new smart TVs. This distanced it from Google’s Android TV platform given the rumored constrained relationship between the two. Something that might have prompted Samsung to launch its in house OS to stop its reliance on Google’s Android and may be strike a better deal when it came to roundtable negotiations with Mountain View.
“This is not Samsung’s first attempt to give us a Tizen product”
It didn’t come as a surprise that Samsung has finally delivered its promise and launched the Z1 since a Tizen powered smartphone was long rumored to launch in 2013 which has been pushed several time till 2015. This followed the failed launch of the high end Samsung Z in Russia and instead Sammy decided to cancel it citing development issues.
Then late last year, a Tizen powered smartphone was sighted in India with rumors circulating the web that Samsung was to launch a low cost handset in that particular market. Well indeed Sammy did the same and gave us the Z1, a smartphone that appealed to the nostalgia with its lackluster specifications that would have fared better back in the days. The Z1 is an entry level smartphone meant for the developing world and it made sense for Samsung to first launch in India with a billion people, many of whom lack a smartphone.
With Google on the lookout, will Samsung take off with Tizen?
However, it should be noted that Google with a handful of OEMs in India launched the Android One project targeting a similar price point but Google stands out and has a led advantage since it’s backed by its Android eco-system with a strong developer community something that Tizen cannot offer. It looks like both Android versions and Samsung’s own Bada SDK will be supported through an application compatibility layer (ACL) which works along similar lines to the Android app player on BlackBerry’s Playbook. This was the only life saving move for the Tizen OS on mobile, otherwise Samsung would have to work hard to lure developers to its side something a software giant like Microsoft is still struggling to achieve with its Windows Phone OS.
Tizen is Samsung’s Future
A Tizen powered Samsung Smart TV at CES 2015
Tizen now graces Samsung’s new line of premium SUHD TVs that were announced at CES this month, and the Korean company promises that the rest of the year will bring “a flood of devices” running its operating system. According to Samsung Tomorrow , Tizen-powered smartwatches, cameras, TVs, and the new Z1 smartphone that we’ve seen so far are “just the tip of the iceberg.” Tizen will be a crucial part of Samsung’s future Internet of Things strategy, helping to connect and smarten up devices and appliances around our homes and beyond. The company claims that Tizen requires less processing power and memory, thereby ensuring faster device speeds while consuming less energy.
Unlike Sony, we’ve seen Samsung’s desperate desire to diversify away from its dependance on Google, which has kept it persisting with the development of Tizen in spite of little external encouragement or support. The renewed effort and investment into pushing Tizen as its own legitimate platform won’t, argues Samsung, come at the expense of other operating systems. Samsung says that it places a “foremost emphasis on openness” and remains open to other software.