For many a year now, Android and iOS have butted heads in their battle to be the top mobile OS. They both have strong points, as well as both having weak points. And both of them reign supreme in different areas. But the time could be coming for Android to face a new nemesis. A nemesis that is both similar and different in many ways. That nemesis is Tizen.
Having achieved backing from several big names such as Samsung, Intel, Huawei and Vodafone, Tizen certainly has powerful players working to make it a success. But first, let’s start with what Tizen is. Tizen is an up and coming open-source operating system based off of Linux. Like, Android, Tizen is extremely flexible in its uses. Tizen also allows a wide variety of app development as it supports apps running on HTML5 as well as other related web technologies to allow apps to run across multiple device categories. For example, an app on Tizen would be coded in HTML5 and it would be able to run on everything from smartphones to laptops and even to bigger devices such as TVs.
Currently though, the only device on the market that runs Tizen is the Samsung NX300, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Even then, Tizen is heavily covered in proprietary camera software from Samsung. However, it works to show the versatility of Tizen. It’s quite as versatile as Android, if not more because of the way that it leans on HTML5.
While Tizen is still in construction, we could see it on more devices in as little time as a year. And with a growing amount of manufacturers and developers backing Tizen, it has the potential to grow exponentially. If Tizen does take off, then it poses a serious threat to Android.
Imagine for a moment if Samsung was not in the Android scene. Android wouldn’t be anywhere near the size it currently is. It would have faced major problems with consumer adoption, where Samsung has led the charge. Samsung’s line of Galaxy devices have become nearly as common as Apple’s iPhone and many consumers know the Galaxy brand. No other Android manufacturer has that kind of power.
But an Android world without Samsung is entirely plausible. With Samsung being one of the biggest backers of Tizen, they could have plans to leave Android for Tizen, their own operating system that could also be used by others. It’s practically a formula for taking off in the mobile world. With Samsung having even more power over the software of their devices, they could push out updates quickly and easily tie in their own services to Tizen. Samsung already has the web of services to help start their own operating system. They even have their own app store, although it’s rather barren.
Of course, Samsung could always choose to use both Android and Tizen. But splitting their focus between two operating systems doesn’t sound like the wisest plan. If they play it smart though, they could slowly, over the course of a year or two, put all their eggs in the Tizen basket. Gradually transition entirely away from Android and focus on their own operating system. If that happens, then Android is going to take a powerful hit. Many consumers will follow Samsung over to Tizen without even thinking about the operating system.
In that case, Tizen would become Android’s new rival. Just like Android, Tizen is open source and incredibly versatile so many other manufacturers could pick it up. At that point, it will spark innovation on both sides as both Tizen and Android would be competing to grab consumer’s attention and get new devices sold. The approach could actually be very good for the market, once again inspiring rapid innovation.
Tizen might not work out though. It might not be all that was hoped for. Samsung might choose to remain with Android. There are all sorts of variables that could come into play to prevent Tizen from ever taking off.
There’s always the chance though. If Tizen does explode onto the market, then it could shift Android off of the throne. What do you think? Is Android impenetrable? Does Tizen have a chance? Do you predict that Tizen will overtake Android? Hit up those comments with your replies.