Samsung Reducing Dependence on Android; Plans 'Tizen' Phones to Launch in 2013
Despite (or perhaps because of) massive success with the Android OS, a new report indicates that Samsung plans to release new smartphone devices in 2013 that use the "Tizen" OS instead of Android. Here's the statement from Samsung, ”We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.” Obviously, this doesn't give any specific detail like hardware, timeframe or pricing, but it does show that Samsung is making some interesting moves this year.
At first, glance, one might question why Samsung would even consider competing with itself by offering a separate OS experience from Android. After-all, Android has been a cash-cow for Samsung, generating $4 Billion in profit from Android devices alone last year. Still, the facts show that Android is becoming so dominant it's a bit scary. According to an IDC report, in the last quarter of 2012, three out of every four handsets sold worldwide had the Android OS on-board. Even though Samsung is firmly in the Android camp, it must make them a bit uncomfortable for their mobile success to be so dependent on someone else's product.
If you think deeper, this move by Samsung to offer a competitive alternative is simply them hedging their bets. Samsung's MO has always been to offer a wide variety of devices, never relying on one product to support them. This has been a resounding success for the company, so it makes sense to continue with this overal strategy. Additionally, Samsung has truly built up their own brand recognition with a massive marketing campaign. Dipping their toes into the waters of their own custom OS (although it is jointly developed with Intel) could offer them the potential future opportunity to take on both Apple and Android directly.
Of course, this hinges on how good Tizen is, and how well received it is, but Samsung has nothing to lose if they try it out. This could also give them enough software experience to eventually develop a forked version of Android just like Amazon currently does. The only flaw with this idea is that Samsung does not have the massive pre-established ecosystem that Amazon already developed prior to the launch of the Kindle Fire. Only time will tell if Tizen can become a competitive OS, or simply an also-ran mediocre alternative.
What do you guys think? Could Samsung eventually build their own competitive OS, and would it be good for the consumer if they did?
01-03-2013 11:16 AM