Samsung is to start peddling its third smartphone powered by the company’s own Tizen mobile operating system in India next week.
The operating system which sounds like a sneeze is being used by Samsung to break free from Google’s iron grip. As yet the company has not been keen to try it out on more developed markets but it has been able to improve margins in developing countries.
The Z2 phone, equipped with a 4-inch screen and India-specific features such as a safety mode for motorcyclists, will be the cheapest Tizen phone Samsung has launched and costs $68.44.
The phone, the first Tizen-powered device that will run on 4G networks, will start selling in India in a week.
Samsung is getting addicted to Tizen and uses it on tellies, home appliances and wearable products to enable the devices to communicate with each other and phones via the internet.
It is mostly being seen in India and Bangladesh, where many potential customers are still first-time buyers looking for a cheap device and do not necessarily need a big library of apps. Tizen’s weakness is that it lacks the number of Android Apps.
Apple gave a boost to the wearables market with the launch of the iWatch earlier this year, but an IDC survey shows that there will be significant overall growth in the sector during 2015.
IDC estimates that 72.1 million units will ship this year, a growth of 173.2 percent from last year.
And over the next five years, wearables will show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6 percent, with 155.7 million units shipped in 2019.
But 2016 will be the real year for wearables, with a number of companies including Apple, Microsoft with its Hololens, Android Wear, Tizen and WatchOS all being active.
IDC research manager Ramon Llamas thinks that we’re seeing the “building blocks” of what lies ahead in the future.
IDC segments wearables into “wristwear”, “eyewear”, “modular”, “clothing”, “facewear” and other.
In the 1990s the then CEO of IBM, Lew Gerstner, forecast that technology would be embedded in our shoes but so far we haven’t seen examples, although we bet they’re about.
Samsung’s Vice President of Product Strategy has confirmed that the outfit will release its first Tizen-powered smartphone before the beginning of July.
Yoon Han-kil said the phone will feature a flagship-style spec sheet, and could be followed by a mid-range smartphone to help increase market share.
The operating system has been plagued by all sorts of delays and Yoon said that the hardware running Google’s Android software would remain Samsung’s “main business”.
It appears that Tizen devices would be used for bringing in revenue based on app sales and services. If this is the case then Samsung has also changed its cunning plans for Tizen. Initially wanted to introduce Samsung hardware into countries where the manufacturer was not especially popular, it has now decided to launch them in markets where it is an established and popular choice.
All this will be good news for the Tizen camp which is reeling from the news that the Japanese network DoCoMo cancelled a Tizen phone launch.
Then again, Japan is a weak market for Samsung, with analysts showing a steadily declining market share at the end of 2013. Pushing Tizen in places where Samsung does well, could mean the US and the UK will see Tizen later this year. Yoon estimates Tizen will need to represent 15 percent of Samsung’s total smartphone shipments if it is to be worthwhile.
Samsung has already launched Tizen on the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which were launched alongside the Galaxy S5 during Mobile World Congress.
Yoon said Samsung plans to make its Tizen-powered smartwatches compatible with all Android phones, not just its own, to challenge Google’s new Android Wear software.
An exact launch date hasn’t been provided, with the Samsung executive saying only that it’ll occur somewhere between now and the end of June.
This seems to fit with a January leak of a Tizen device with the codename Z9000 Zeq, which looked very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Android phone, but with a smaller, lower resolution display. The Zeq would fit reasonably with what Samsung is planning for Tizen.
Samsung and Intel have shown how serious they are about getting the Android rival Tizen off the ground.
Tizen, the operating system which sounds like a kitten sneezing, needs apps if it is going to have a bat’s chance in hell of competing with Apple or Android.
The pair have decided that the best thing to do is arrange a competition with winning apps eligible for prizes ranging between $50,000 and $200,000.
Developers have until 1 November to submit their apps. The judging will take place between 4 November and 25 November, and winners will be announced in December.
With games being a popular category, it’s no surprise that the top game will get the $200,000 prize, with the best non-game app winning $120,000.
The top 10 HTML 5-based apps will win $50,000 each. In total, there is $4.04 million in prizes that will be awarded to 50 developers in nine categories.
So far only a handful of carriers have committed to Tizen, including Japan’s NTT Docomo and Sprint Nextel.
The first phones were supposed to debut as early as this month, but have been pushed back to the fourth quarter due to problems with the app store, we guess the app store being empty has not helped much.
Intel’s hope for a mobile operating system has had its source code release.
Tizen is an open source mobile OS based on Linux and backed up by the Linux foundation. Tizen is supposed to work on Atom N2800 and N2600 processors and can probably play nice with ARM chips too.
Intel has backed Tizen because it combined the MeeGo and LiMo communities and their best technologies under one unified environment. It also has strong support for the HTML 5 and WAC wholesale application community.
The Tizen 1.0 Larkspur had its source code released along with some new complimentary components.
According to the Tizen Technical Steering Group (TTSG) the source code, with its new updates should make life easier for developers.
Writing from its bog, the TTSG said that it was improving and adding to the SDK and source code. There are a few additional components that will be added soon including a few bug fixes and additional features.
This release provides something called Simulator which is a browser-based tool that supports the Tizen APIs and allows web applications to run and be debugged. There are some IDE enhancements include more flexibility around templates and debugging tools, an emulator to test Windows and OpenGL acceleration for Linux.
In addition, the TTSG has improved its community infrastructure by adding a bug tracker and wiki. There are also a number of back-end changes, designed to improve stability and scalability of the infrastructure.
Intel has announced that it is changing the name of MeeGo in what a cynic would say is a move to kill off the operating system without anyone noticing.
According to a press statement, Intel has joined Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation in support of Tizen, a new Linux-based open source software platform for multiple device categories.
The press release said that Tizen builds upon the strengths of both LiMo and MeeGo and Intel will be working with its MeeGo partners on the transition to Tizen.
We will not see Tizen until the beginning of 2012, and the first devices will not be around until the middle of the year.
Tizen will apparently support smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, Netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices using a flexible standards-based HTML5 and WAC Web development. It will all be open source and run by a technical steering team of Intel and Samsung.
Tizen is yet another name change for the OS which started life as Moblin. Moblin was an OS for small devices like netbooks and smartphones. The brand was damaged when Nokia ditched it in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform and when manufacturers started to withdraw support.
The question is why would Chipzilla insist on a name change, again, and force its developers to adapt to a new system? CNET seems to think Intel wants to merge the operating system out of existence.
The logic is that getting rid of Meego is bad PR, and shows a lack of commitment to the developer community. It is better to rename it, so if anyone complains then you can say it is simply renamed. Then when it does not take off, it can be quietly shelved under a less hyped name
We asked Intel what it was doing with Meego a while back and it said that it thought there was life in the OS yet, and it had a cunning plan.