Jul 08 AT 2:14 PM Dustin Earley 33 Comments

Is Samsung looking to trash Tizen, fork Android?

Samsung logo

If some tweets from industry insider Eldar Murtazin are correct, Samsung could be headed down an interesting path with Android. In order to fight falling stocks and continue growth, Samsung could be looking to diversify their portfolio, but not with Tizen like originally planned. Samsung may be working on their own version of Android.

According to Eldar Murtazin, Samsung and Intel aren’t just looking away from Tizen, which is apparently on life-support as it is, but are working on another Android-based project. Work on Tizen is being pushed back and delayed, and there’s good reason for it. Developers aren’t too keen on Tizen, and Samsung already has an established ecosystem they may be looking to take outside of the normal Google arena.

There’s no specific news or rumors saying so, but the writing’s on the wall. There’s good reason to believe Samsung is working on their own forked version of Android. We’ve seen this approach before with Amazon and the Kindle Fire and know that it can work.

Here’s what we’re working with: As mentioned above according to Murtazin, Samsung and Intel are working on an Android-based project. We know that Samsung needs to diversify their portfolio and reduce dependency on others if it wants to really thrive and sustain growth. Samsung is one of the only companies outside of Amazon who has the ecosystem to support a portfolio of devices without relying on Google and Google Play; it already have an app store, a media hub and everything else needed to build their own OS. And it makes some degree of sense.

Most consumers don’t care so much what operating system their phone is using. So long as they have access to the same apps their friends do, that’s all that matters. With such a huge portion of the Android market, developers would be forced to push their apps into Samsung’s app store if they want maximum coverage. By basing their new OS onAndroid, everything would still work like it does now. It probably wouldn’t look a whole lot different. Samsung would just gain complete control over every aspect, giving them more freedom to differentiate.

Of course it’s possible that Intel and Samsung are working on something else with Android, but what else could they possibly want to spend the time on? Nothing else makes sense at this point. What do you think? Should Samsung fork Android and distance itself from Google or is it a mistake? If Samsung isn’t forking Android to be used with their own apps and services, what else could they be working on? Let us know in the comments.

Via: Forbes

Source: Twitter

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I can see why Samsung doesn’t want to put all its eggs in one basket, but I feel this would be very hard to get people to switch to just like with bb10 and wp having similar issues with gaining ground on android and IOS, unless maybe they do like what amazon did with the kindle but even those aren’t selling that well.

  • cl2eep

    Yeah, the Kindles only worked until other manufacturers started making full fledged Android Tablets in the same price bracket. People don’t want devices with sub par app stores.

  • GeorgeV

    Even more of a reason to go with Nexus/Motorola phones in the future, then. Farewell Samsung.

  • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

    I think this more makes sense for Samsung. Every time someone makes a purchase in the Play Store on a Samsung device Samsung is missing out on an opportunity to make money. It would be pretty irritating for long time android users, but it seems like a real possibility for Samsung to be able to compete with Apple in the long term.

  • Haggie

    Buy Boxee, fork Android? July must be bad decision month. They get them all out in fell swoop, like “The Purge”…

  • Shou Ji

    No, Samsung looking to ditch Android & all hardware will be running Tizen in the future. This is the Samsung Future Roadmap & video: http://bit.ly/11kQTrh

    • clocinnorcal

      Your source is a three month old article.

  • paulieG22

    A fail to believe that Samsung would be that silly to move to a Fork or Tizen. You may see a litmus test device, but I disagree with your opinion that it won’t have significant impact on their market share. I for one would drop them like a lead balloon. The litmus test device will be a resounding failure and Samsung will remember they used to write their own OS back when the were a nobody. It was the common playing ground of Android and Samsung’s strength to manufacture hardware that has been the recipe for their success.

  • R.S

    I don’t think a Samsung app store would be too successful. Unless I’m mistaken, Verizon’s app store didn’t work out very well for them.

    I think that in order for people to embrace a separate app store, it would have to be better than the current one. If it’s not, why would people want to use it over the current one.

    Then there’s the issue of whether apps purchased through a Samsung app store would work on non Samsung products.

    If you buy an app from Google Play, you can then download it to any Android device linked to your Google account (provided that it’s compatible). Will apps purchased from a Samsung app store be the same?

    • doseas

      Samsung already have an app store: http://apps.samsung.com

      I haven’t seen any stats on it, but I don’t believe that it is much of a revenue source for them.

  • ____

    • David

      Thanks for summarizing my state of mind after reading this article.

  • Staska

    Samsung isn’t forking Android anytime soon. There’s absolutely no reason for them to. What could they possibly gain from the fork?

    “Taking full control of the platform” sounds cool. But what would that give Samsung in practical terms?

    30% from app sales via Samsung appstore? A cut from sales of music, videos, magazines, books and other content? Revenues from some ads? That’s peanuts for a company like Samsung. Google itself so far can’t earn enough from Android to break down the number to the public from its general earnings.

    Now look at the negatives.

    If Samsung were to fork Android, Google wouldn’t just sit idly and watch. Remember what happened to Acer when they tried exactly that – to create Chinese forked Android phone for Alibaba, I think, or some other e-commerce company?

    Now, Samsung is much more important to Android ecosystem than Acer, so Google won’t boot them out at once. But they would definitely suspend the early access to latest Android versions. They also can create a lot of problems during Android certification process, delaying the launch of official Android Samsung flagships, giving preferences to other OEMs.

    And Samsung has no chance to outpace Google, or even keep up with them in platform development. They’ve been at it for 4 years now (Bada, Tizen), with pith pitiful results.

    In a few years, forked Samdroid would most likely look against modern Android, like Windows Mobile or Symbian looked against Android in 2010. With similar results. And Samsung isn’t a company to take such a gamble. At least not anytime soon, or unless Google really starts discriminating against all others in favor of Motorola.

    Nope. The thing Samsung and Intel is working – is just another Samsung Android phone

    • clocinnorcal

      Totally agree. I highly doubt that Samsung is that hard-up for portfolio diversification that they would alienate their golden goose.

      To expand on your point regarding Tizen and Bada, if they were to “fork” Android, what proven OS model do they currently have that could even compare to Google’s OS, or even the ecosystem itself?

      Oh and Alibaba! I had almost forgotten about that. You are right, Samsung is probably in a better position then that Chinese company was but, again, why would they alienate themselves and risk early adoption?

  • David

    This kind of speculation pops up every now and then, but there’s no clear gain for Samsung to consider forking Android. They could remove Google Play from the device, but that would alienate most Android users who have a considerable library of music and apps they would want access to on their new device. Google would also be able to withhold support for applications like Maps and Now. All things considered, it would hurt their bottom line much more than it would help.

  • posito

    If Samsung forks android it will no longer be part of the open handset alliance. Essentially all support from google will be gone. This will turn Samsung into Amazon and will slowly die like Nokia will in a year.

  • Séan

    I love how the article suggests that “Most consumers don’t care so much what operating system their phone is using. So long as they have access to the same apps their friends do, that’s all that matters.” and also assumes that devs will support the new build just because. I would find it likely unless Samsung gets on their knees for the devs they would (mostly) ignore this new build and force Samsung to allow native android apps to run unaffected otherwise risk a completely unsupported fork. Hardware is only as good as the software that supports it and vice-verse and if they’ve got really good hardware with no devs willing/able to support it they will have a bunch of dead devices.

  • Daniel Smedegaard Buus

    Yay! We killed Apple with open source software!

    Let’s repeat their mistake and see who kills us!

    That’ll turn back time on the stock market!

    Yaaayyyy! :D

  • jpb


    Most of the smartphone buying community is already on their first or second phone, already embedded in either the Apple iOS app store or the Google Play Store.

    Why on earth would I want to ditch the 100+ apps I already have to go to yet another app store? It’s the same reason that Microsoft Windows phone holds little appeal for me. Too little, too late.

    Samsung is going to lose huge if they do this.

    • sdude

      The only reason Microsoft didn’t fail completely when they made windows phone 8 was because of how big they are, people (not loads but some) bought the product because it was from Microsoft. And when you start to gain people you gain developers. But do enough people care about samsung to follow them over. Also now Google owns Motorola they can control both hardware and software.

  • drejohnson

    Bad move imo, but we’ll just root it and but the real Android back on it anyway!

  • Alex

    If that Android version will look just like TouchWiz and running the same apps, I don’t see any problem. Galaxy phone’s users already like their Galaxies and if the OS in those phones is Android or a Pseudo-Android but look and work in the same way I really don’t see any problem for Samsung.
    We care about what kind of Android version is running under the hood, but must of the users don’t care and even don’t know about it.

  • Mako

    The author is very ignorant if he thinks consumers won’t notice all of the missing Google services from Samsung phones if they fork Android. They will not get Gmail, Google Maps, Google Now, YouTube, Google Turn by Turn navigation, Google Play Store, etc.

    Just look at the outrage on the iPhone when Google Maps wasn’t available. Can you imagine the outrage from an Android user upgrading their Samsung phone to the latest and greatest Samsung phone with a forked version of Android with no Google services and non of their apps available because they cannot use Google Play anymore?

  • Chris

    This story just gets rolled out every few months as click bait for ad revenue

  • donger

    This is why Google shouldn’t let Samsung make an Nexus device. Samsung is just going to copying everything, find the cheap materials to mass produce and sell them like hotcakes.

  • OnIn2

    Serious question:

    Is this a troll article to just generate responses ?

  • fsuagentsmith

    Guys it is simple. Samsung is looking to take more market share in hardware devices like TVs, phones, Appliances, etc. Samsung does not make software. Google does. Google is looking to make another advertising revenue stream (does Google TV being more than a year old ring any bells). Intel is looking to diversify their micro-processor market.

    All those companies have one main competitor… Apple. And yes I know Apple and Intel work together, in a dying Computer Market. Apple is looking to make an entire whole life experience where they can integrate all aspects of your life on one platform.

    It would make sense that Samsung, Intel, and Google are working together to make a TV device that can give Google what they want (an advertising market), Intel another market to work in (dying PC Market is not going to sustain them forever), and Samsung a hardware device to beat Apple, Sony, LG, etc in a different market..

    Is Samsung going to ditch Google on their phones… not likely. At least not completely. They may make a few phones that carry a different OS, but those will be cheap and limited in their scope. These people are smart business people. They don’t want to alienate users that have made them the #1 phone maker in the world over petty control. They understand that bottom line numbers is way more important to share holders, which means “DING DING DING” Google’s Android OS is here to stay.

  • thymeless

    I don’t see Samsung forking android or going whole hog on a proprietary OS. It’s a recipe for limited market share. You can make more money per customer in that model, but it’s not as big a market overall.

    And it’s probably too late to be viable at this point.

    Now, if they’re looking to totally reinvent the smart phone, there’s potential there, but I’m not sure the hardware and infrastructure exist for that generation of device yet.

    So they should keep their eyes open and explore.

  • killer

    I prefer not to jump to other phone OS for now. Android is doing great, really really great. Look what happened to bada os. Now it looks like they are attempting once again with some reinforcements from some big names.

    Unless there is a big change wherein they can make the lives of the developer and user much easier, maybe i could consider jumping the tizen bandwagon.

    Looks like samsung have some plans with it. I hope nokia will join the android community and regain their top spot that they lost when the smartphone era began.

  • Mukky

    androidi have been worked on tizen and it’s ok …. but it’s not able to compete , android is still beter than other mobile os…..

  • chad

    I must say Tizen is definitely a late entry. It has no competing advantage over IOS or android.
    Samsung should just focus on hardware and make it good on hardware. Eg. Long lasting batteries and short charging times. Unbreakable screens.

    Stop dreaming of owning a whole eco system because it does not work that way. Eco systems thrives when shared and choices are available. Creativity also flourishes in a open eco system not a closed one. Success is not just about profitability alone. Money comes along with success and not the other way around. If money is to drive success than that business model would eventually fail.

  • JJ

    Tizen is a piece of TRASH. Nothing but trouble and incompatibilities. As an example, I managed to connect it to my Windows 7 last year after spending four hours downloading drivers in my computer. It worked for about 10 minutes. Never worked since. Every time I tried I get an error message saying “Windows has found the driver but there is a problems and can’t connect”. Have downloaded all the darn drivers 6 times since and no luck. I’m flashing this thing and loading Android!!!