Samsung's Tizen on Gear plan makes sense

Samsung's Tizen on Gear plan makes sense

Summary: Samsung's Gear smartwatch is a fine test balloon for its Tizen operating system. Even if Tizen can't replace Android it'll be good enough for the really small screen.

TOPICS: Mobility, Samsung

Samsung will reportedly use its Gear smartwatch as a trial balloon for its Tizen operating system. The move makes a lot of sense to see if Tizen can really hold its own relative to Android.

According to USA Today, Samsung will outline its latest Gear smartwatch powered by Tizen and HTML5. USA Today cited three unnamed sources.


The importance of Tizen can't be understated. Samsung relies on Google's Android operating system and is the biggest manufacturer driving mobile market share for the search giant. The two companies are strong partners, but Samsung doesn't want to give Google too much power.

Samsung has pursued a gradual rollout with Tizen and is slowly landing partners. By putting Tizen on a smartwatch, which merely takes data from a smartphone for display, Samsung minimizes its risks and gets to test its open source operating system in the field.

Could you imagine if Samsung put Android on the back burner and put Tizen on a big product like the Galaxy line? Samsung would risk customer angst. On Gear, Samsung the stakes are lower and the requirements for Tizen aren't nearly as hard to fulfill.

CNET Review: Samsung's smartwatch is style over substance

HTML5 has improved to the point where many applications and mobile sites can approach native apps in performance. On a smartwatch, HTML5 will likely be good enough.

Add it up and Tizen on Gear is a good first step. On other fronts, Samsung will continue to layer its software on top of Android as it tries to differentiate itself on the mobile front.


Topics: Mobility, Samsung

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  • understated

    Larry, I think you meant overstated.
  • Sansung should wise up

    They risk "pulling a Windows 8" and damaging their brand.

    Developers will ignore this additional market fragementation and customers will turn away in disgust, namy never to come back.

    "Differentiation" seems to be little more than trying to escape inevitiable commoditization, which ought to mean cheaper, greener, longer lifetime, and more refined interchangable products that compete in the marketplace.

    I smell Wall Street and similar anti-human agents at work here.
    • What have you been drinking

      "pulling a Windows 8" and "anti-human agents".
  • People don't buy Samsung because it runs Android

    they buy Samsung because they like the hardware and the experience and the cost. If Tizen has as good as or better user experience than Android, then it's not going to hurt Samsung in the least to dump Android.
    • course they do.

      Samsung made winCE phones before android, and didn't they try symbian too? Nokia had a stronghold on the smartphone world until Iphone and Android.. now Samsung is the #1 smartphone seller.

      People might buy a tizen phone thinking it's android, they would likely then return it when they find out that it has less apps then widows phone.

      Like it or hate it.. Google has built a convining ecosystem around android.. and they still cop flack for not being "free" enough despite the fact that all the serious competition isn't "free" at all. (iOS and WP)

      Haters gotta hate right?
  • Flip side

    The flip side of the smart watch is that it probably has no need for the Google Android apps, and therefore Samsung could have used Android for free on it. Since they developed Tizen, it was therefore more expensive to use it. But it is worth doing a test I suppose
  • Efficiency

    Well, if you're a wearable you'd darn well better run efficiently so you can save battery - and Android is based on an inefficient interpreter, and you really can't scale everything up until you have a battery that's big enough pushing a quad-core processor.

    So yeah, it makes sense to run something that doesn't drive interpreted code.