The Korean giant Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Smartphones that use Google’s Android OS as their operating system. However, competition from Apple and other companies is harsh, with Android powering as much as 80% of all devices in the industry.
Even though Samsung continues to hold the lead position, and has come up with the awesome Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, its Smartphone sales are constantly decreasing. One explanation is that the competition has also developed impressive Smartphones, so users can pick and choose.
Recently, in an attempt to consolidate its position, the Korean manufacturer has confirmed the possibility of abandoning the Android platform for its Galaxy Smartphones and tablets in favor of its own operating system.
This is called Tizen, a Linux-based platform developed by Samsung and Intel. Tizen builds on Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo, but it is open-source, like Android, which allows a great level of customization and makes it an attractive alternative.
So, Samsung moving entirely to Tizen may not be as crazy as it seems, and it may even spur its Smartphone sales. According to Android Airport, there are a number of reasons to support this idea, and one of the most important is that models using the Tizen platform (like Samsung Z1 – the first to do so) are some of the lowest priced Smartphones on the market. As the use of Smartphones increases, more and more people around the world are trying to find models that they can afford, and this way Samsung may be able to avoid competing directly with other big manufacturers.
Equally important is that deciding to go it alone will enable the Korean giant to become significantly less dependent on Google and its rules for developing and launching Android Smartphones. On the other hand, partnering with Google provides a kind of stability that Samsung may or may not achieve on its own, which is always a risk.
Moreover, while there are many mobile applications available for immediate download for Tizen OS, these are not nearly as many as those one can find at the Android and Apple stores. Users have also reported problems with finding some of the essential Tizen apps, or with apps that don’t work properly, and these inconveniences only hinder their use of the Samsung Smartphone. The solution to the problem is to attract developers, and there is great potential for it, too, given that as much as 30% of the people running Android on their devices actually use Samsung Smartphones. Another solution comes from third party tools like Open Mobile’s Application Compatibility Layer – this enables Android to work with Tizen applications.
Considering that other Smartphone manufacturers have already started to take control of every aspect of their devices, Samsung should too. If the Korean company does move entirely to Tizen, it will be able to control everything regarding the software and hardware of its new Galaxy Smartphones, as long as it carefully weighs the risks and finds the means to counteract them.