bada. LiMo. Maemo. Moblin. MeeGo. At one time or another, these Linux-based mobile platforms were expected to have a significant impact on the smartphone market. In each case, however, potential and promise never became reality. Some were abandoned, some were merged. Partner organizations came and went. OEMs changed course. I’m not sure Apple or Google even noticed, let alone cared.
Tizen, however, will be different. With Samsung set to unveil its first Tizen-based handset sometime this summer, here are four reasons it will be a game-changer:
- Tizen is well-supported. Tizen is steered primarily by Intel, Samsung, and the Tizen Association (formerly LiMo Foundation), all under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The Tizen Association counts Fujitsu, Huawei, Orange, Panasonic, Sprint, and Vodafone among its members.
- Tizen is compatible with HTML5. Poor app ecosystems doomed the aforementioned mobile Linux platforms, and certainly played a role in the downfall of BlackBerry and the tepid acceptance of Windows Phones. HTML5 compatibility will give Tizen users access to a wide range of apps without the need to address the challenge of attracting native app developers.
- The Android brand is no longer important. Samsung, the leading manufacturer of Android-based smartphones, rarely uses the word “Android” in its advertisements anymore. Check it out for yourself on the company’s newly launched Galaxy S4 page. Not a single reference to Android on the entire site. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to read to read between the lines…
- Samsung is poised to ditch Android. Despite being the Android leader, Samsung has never fully committed to the platform. The company has seemingly always been in search of a strong alternative, having at different times dabbled with bada, MeeGo, Windows, and now Tizen. Between some of the legal headaches associated with the use of Android (Apple lawsuits, the “Microsoft Tax,” etc.) and Google’s acquisition of a top competitor (Motorola Mobility), Samsung appears more eager than ever to move on.
Tizen has also been touted as an automotive in-vehicle infotainment solution. Interestingly – and perhaps not-so-coincidentally – the IVI space is populated by many of the same players Tizen faces in the smartphone space: BlackBerry/QNX, Windows, and Linux. Does Tizen have what it takes to succeed in IVI as well?