Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Samsung makes quiet push for new mobile OS

13 November 2013, 08:19

Seoul - Most mobile phone users have never heard of Tizen. Neither have car owners or anyone with a fridge.

Samsung Electronics wants to change that.

The South Korean electronics giant is in a quiet push to make its Tizen operating system a part of the technology lexicon as familiar as Google's Android or Apple's iOS. Its ambition doesn't stop there. Samsung sees the software in your car, fridge and television too.

The first developer conference in Asia for Tizen wrapped up on Tuesday after a two-day run, bringing together app developers and Tizen backers from Samsung, Intel and mobile operators.

Samsung did not announce a Tizen phone, but it made a pitch for developers to create apps for the mobile operating system that is yet to be seen in the market. Samsung promised to give out $4m cash to the creators of the best Tizen apps.


Samsung supplied about one third of the smartphones sold worldwide in the third quarter, nearly all of them running on Google's Android.

Its early bet on Google's free-of-charge operating system served Samsung well and the company's rise to top smartphone seller also helped Android become the most used mobile platform in the world. According to Localytics, 63% of all Android mobile devices in use are made by Samsung.

But while Samsung was wildly successful with selling its Galaxy phones and tablets, it had little success in locking Galaxy device users into music, messaging and other Samsung services.

Google, however, benefited from more people using its search service, Google Play app and other Google mobile applications on Galaxy smartphones. Owners of Galaxy devices remain for the most part a slave to Google's Android update schedule and its rules.

About nine in every 10 smartphone users are tied to either Google's Android or Apple's iPhone ecosystems, generating profit for Google and Apple every time they purchase a game or application on their smartphone.

That is partly why Samsung wants to expand its control beyond hardware to software, by building its own mobile operating system.

"With only hardware, its influence is limited," said Kang Yeen-kyu, an associate research fellow at state-run Korea Information Society Development Institute. "Samsung's goal is to establish an ecosystem centred on Samsung."

Operating system

The consolidation of global technology companies in the last few years reflects such trends. Apple has always made its own operating system for the iPhone.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility in 2011 and Microsoft announced in September its plan to buy Nokia, leaving Samsung the only major player in the smartphone market that does not make its own operating system.

Samsung executives told analysts last week that the company plans to beef up its software competitiveness through acquisitions and splashing cash on the development of mobile content and services.

But Tizen's start appears bumpy. Samsung said earlier this year the first Tizen phone would hit the market this year but it has not materialised. Samsung declined to comment on release schedules.

Even though Choi Jong-deok, Samsung's executive vice president overseeing Tizen, said a launch of Tizen phone or televisions will happen "very shortly", analysts said Samsung is unlikely to reveal the first Tizen device until February of next year, when the company said it will announce winners of its Tizen app contest.

During the developer conference, Samsung gave more clues about how its first Tizen device would look and revealed that it has recently launched a Tizen-based camera in South Korea.

Tizen would work across a vast range of consumer electronics made by Samsung, encompassing mobile devices, televisions, fridges as well as wearable devices. The mobile operating system will also work with automobiles. Samsung and Intel said Toyota Motor and Jaguar Land Rover are working together to bring Tizen OS to vehicles.

Cheaper smartphones

"You can build an application once and relatively easily move from device to device," Mark Skarpness, director of systems engineering at Intel, told the conference.

Samsung and Intel are also aiming to capture a bigger share of business in emerging markets where demand for cheaper smartphones is growing. Skarpness said future versions of Tizen will support lower-end phones, the same direction that Google is taking with its latest version of Android, KitKat.

"I got an impression that Tizen was benchmarking Android," said Park Minhyung, a developer who attended the conference. "Speakers at the sessions said that they adopted strong features from Android. But with Android's place well established in the market, I wonder how Tizen would undermine the front runner."

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...