ZTE, Sprint, SoftBank join open source Tizen OS development

The open-source Tizen operating system project has snagged an additional 15 partners, including carriers and app developers.

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Credit: Tizen

The Tizen program has announced an additional 15 partners who are contributing to the development of the open source Tizen operating system.

The Tizen Association is building an open source, cross-architecture platform for multiple purposes including mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as in-vehicle infotainment systems and netbooks. The OS aims to be free of developer restrictions found on Android, iOS and Windows Phone in order to customize the system for end consumers. Launching with  36 members in November  last year, the Tizen program -- managed by the Linux Foundation -- has pushed for partners in firms interested in contributing to the development of an operating system able to complete with Android and iOS. 

Tizen partners include mobile game publishers, operators, app developers, mobile software management vendors and telecommunications companies. In the latest push for partners, SoftBank Mobile, ZTE and Sprint are among the signups, as well as AccuWeather, Ixonos, Acrodea, Nomovok, Baidu, Piceasoft, CloudStreet, Red Bend Software, Cyberlightning, DynAgility, Gamevil and Inside Secure.

Samsung is one of the main backers of the Tizen project, whereas Panasonic, McAfee, eBay and Trend Micro are all current partners.

"Tizen allows vendors and operators the freedom and flexibility to decide what type of service is best provided to the end-users," said Ryoichi Sugimura, a Tizen Association Board Member from NTT DOCOMO. "We are gaining support from all segments of the connected device ecosystem, as more organizations realize the opportunity in providing smart phones and connected devices globally from the high-end to the low-end of the market. The convergence of knowledge will make Tizen a catalyst for providing more innovation not just in smart phones -- every vendor and operator will have the ability to provide a huge variety of customizable services to their customer."

In January, Japan's largest carrier NTT Docomo said it was dropping plans to launch a Tizen-based smartphone, citing a lack of consumer demand beyond the scope of Google's Android or Apple's iOS systems.