Tizen adds 36 new partners including Nokia, eBay, as it looks beyond the smartphone

Tizen adds 36 new partners including Nokia, eBay, as it looks beyond the smartphone

Summary: The Tizen Association is fleshing out its membership with mapping, software, and more smart device partners.


The Tizen Association, the group led by Samsung and Intel that's developing an Android-rival smartphone OS, has added 36 new partners, including eBay and Nokia's Here mapping business. 

Development of the Tizen operating system is gathering pace, with the association aiming to bring the OS not just to smartphones and tablets, but also TVs, appliances and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

Nokia announced on Monday it will join the program to put map-related functionality onto Tizen devices, while other new partners include Intel-owned security vendor McAfee, Panasonic, Sharp, and the Weather Channel. The tens of new participants join previous members including mobile operators such as SK Telecom, NTT Docomo, Vodafone and Orange, and device vendors Huawei and Fujitsu.

The association revealed its new lineup of developers and device makers at the Tizen Developer Summit being held this week in Seoul, South Korea. 

Tizen is a Linux-based operating system, which uses elements of LiMo and the Meego platform briefly used by Nokia. The association aims to drive the platform's commercialisation.

Similar to other emerging rivals to Android, such as Sailfish OS by Finland's Jolla, Tizen Association members are promoting the openness of Tizen and ability to customise the platform.

"One of the biggest benefits of Tizen to partners is the absence of application or feature mandates, allowing the OS to be customized based on what it is best for the end customer," Ryoichi Sugimura, a Tizen Association board member from NTT DoCoMo, said in a statement.

"This allows operators and some device manufacturers to select the provider of features and services that makes the most sense given the type of device, the location of the customer and the most popular use cases for that device. By democratising this portion of the product development, Tizen is driving increased innovation and competition in the industry."

Samsung CEO JK Shin earlier this year told Bloomberg that a high-end Tizen-based smartphone would arrive by August. However, the release date was later pushed back to the fourth quarter, and the handset has still yet to arrive. 

Samsung execs have also said they may launch a smart TV running Tizen in 2014.

Further reading

Topics: Mobile OS, Intel, Linux, Mobility, Nokia, Samsung, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Tizen is something very interesting

    Most people haven't heard of Tizen, but I think it will get some reasonable sales.

    It's got a lot of appeal for handset makers. Being open-source will also appeal to a community of developers who shun the existing proprietary walled-gardens. I'm pretty sure we'll eventually see Firefox support Tizen.

    The only way to win in the finger-touchscreen smartphone game is to be more open than the incumbents. Apple was there first, and had that market to itself for a while. Android is a bit more open than Apple. Tizen OS and Sailfish are more open than Android, which is why they have a better chance than proprietary walled-garden OSes that arrived after iOS.

    It's ironic that Nokia has joined the Tizen Association. Just for maps, huh? We'll see. Despite Microsoft acquiring Nokia's existing smartphone assets, there's nothing to stop Nokia releasing a Tizen phone. It would be very funny if Nokia released it and it succeeded.
    • Nokia maps is only maps that competes google maps

      Nokia maps is only maps that competes google maps
      • No, is not:

        • Lol, Apple Maps are becoming #2 pushing Google to #3

          Ram U
  • Will not benefit customers

    How could another OS that is supposedly very customizable benefit customers? From the article, "Similar to other emerging rivals to Android, such as Sailfish OS by Finland's Jolla, Tizen Association members are promoting the openness of Tizen and ability to customise the platform." Yes, the manufacturers will be able to pack whatever they want onto their customized OS, but will they provide timely software updates when security holes become apparent? Based on Android phone history, the answer is no. There will just be more fragmentation in the market, with the manufacturers enticing you to upgrade your devices to get the updated OS and features. It will just be more of the same, except Google will not be presiding.
    • I think it will benefit customers

      The main cause for users not getting updates to their Android phones is because manufacturers have made alterations to vanilla Android (Touchwiz, Emotion, Sense, etc...). With Tizen the UI should simply be created in HTML/CSS/JS and therefore it's nicely separated from the underlying system making the update process much cleaner and easier.
  • Samsung

    While I like Andriod, I find the sensitivity of samsung touch screens and in particular the 2 invisible buttons at the bottom both frustrating and annoying. You cannot hold you phone with anything like comfort. An Ipod/Iphone on the other hand is more durable in this regard.
    What both need is a button to activate or disable screen touch, so you can watch something without worrying about losing the activity through a careless sweep of the hand. In fact you don't even have to touch the Note to activate something. REALLY REALLY ANNOYING. So much so that I returned my phone after less that 2 weeks use.