Guest Post By Kate Kotler from ComboApp
In the later part of November 2013 the tech news was a-buzz with Tizen updates. For those not familiar, Tizen (supported by the Linux Foundation) is an open-source software platform designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ideally, Tizen is being positioned to become an alternative platform for those users who are not satisfied with either the iOS or Android operating systems. (Much like Linux is to computer operators who do not wish to use a Windows or iOS based operating system, hence the sponsorship.)
A healthy market encourages the development of a third operating system, as software choices help to drive technology adoption, which further encourages device prices to drop. This phenomenon is an imperative criteria in the democratization of technology, which makes technology accessible for all, regardless of economic status.
Samsung was supposed to debut a Tizen powered smartphone late in 2013, but has reportedly has pushed back the rollout of the device to early 2014. (Source: Ubergizmo, 4 November 2013) On 19 November, Ubergizmo reported that in place of the delayed smartphone, that Samsung was likely to launch a Tizen powered camera or “smart fridge.”
At the same time, it is reported that Tizen is being beta tested on Samsung smartphones by Korean carriers.
Less than two days later, it was reported that Tizen had partnered with AppCarousel (a leading provider of app development and content management solutions based in SF, CA). One could speculate this move was strategically planned to accommodate for the US launch of a Tizen powered smartphone, rapidly building an app developer community and downloadable content for such a device.
Then just before Thanksgiving, Mobile Entertainment reported that the Tizen Foundation and YoYo Games was offering up a kitty of $60,000 in prizes to 43 mobile app developers who come up with the best game for the operating system.
This all seems like Samsung is preparing to launch several Tizen supported devices into the market, as speculated…
Jonathan Cheng of the Wall Street Journal reports on 4 December 2013, that despite the fact that Samsung “quietly” released a SLR camera earlier in 2013 that is pre-loaded with the Tizen operating system, that they don’t want you to “read too much into it.”
So what is actually happening? It’s hard to tell. What does seem to be making itself clear it is hard to tell if Tizen will actually be able to compete as a 3rd party mobile operating system and take a chunk of the market away from Google Android or Apple iOS. And, honestly – as the Tizen foundation has been plagued by product delays and confusing reports of product development – the tech pundits who have been raising a skeptical eyebrow to the viability of the operating platform are beginning to look like profits of what is yet to come…
It’s hard to take too much encouragement away from the recent reports that seem to indicate that Tizen is poised to step into the mobile software market in early 2014. However, as Tizen’s entry into the market would indicate robust growth in that business vertical (and, would thusly provide additional choice for consumers) we’re hopeful that these reports are on point and we will see a bright and shiny Tizen device in US markets sometime in Q1 2014.