Nov 18 AT 8:12 PM Nick Sarafolean 57 Comments

Could Tizen be Android’s next nemesis?


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.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • SGB101

    If Samsung want on the seen, Android would be still huge by now, and HTC would be in a better position.

    Tizen could be seen as a bad thing, but could be seen as a good thing, we need competition to grow.

    • subs

      I know these guys have to write articles to fulfill quotas, but come on. I stopped reading at, “Imagine for a moment if Samsung was not in the Android scene. Android wouldn’t be anywhere near the size it currently is.”

      That’s absurd. The first word in the second sentence should be, “Samsung”

      • SGB101

        Samsung was a huge corporation before android it builds everything from cpu’s – - – > shipping containers, This includes fridges, cars TV diggers the list is endless.

        If they never build there own devices, Apple would probably been in a stronger position, as Sammy would have more capacity to fulfil more iPhone demand..

      • any8

        without Samsung has Android hardly 30 % ;)
        Samsung = Android, not Google = Android

        and Android by Google brings nothing lately, only Samsung is saving Android brings innovations

        • Frank Bales

          Bull Hockey

      • Richard Yarrell

        It’s a very simple equation as of October 2012 and at the beginning of January 2013 Samsung owned 42.8% total market share of the entire android platform.

        Today as of November 19th Samsung owns over 63% of the android platform as we are coming to a close of quarter 4 2013. It’scclosest competitor is at less than 7% market share which is Lg everyone else on the android platform is less than 5% market share including Google’s famed Nexus line products.

        If anyone thinks these numbers don’t matter then they are nothing more than a common fool that should check into the closest hospital and ask for a cat scan of your head.

        Clearly if it wasn’t for Samsung and it’s current product lines of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note as well as their tablet offerings android would be the biggest JOKE just as bad as BlackBerry.

        I applaud Samsung for all they have done but more importantly what they have accomplished for themselves which is TOTAL domination over a more than two run.

        People better start facing true reality MOTOROLA, HTC, SONY and Google’s famed Nexus line are a total JOKE on the android platform and their collective market share and total sales are a putrid conclusion.

        Google put their hand in the cookie jar against their partners by owning Motorola which clearly Sent a message to their partners that all Google cares most about is themselves.

        Samsung better start doing the exact same and when they do you can kiss android goodbye the platform will fall dreadfully.

        At the end of the day Samsung has all the cards, all the money, as well as the overall business abilities to call their own shots.

        Tizen will grow and will far more support from MAJOR PLAYERS in the technology game. Android didn’t have that kind of support when they first started.

        Plain and simple Samsung is android period.

        • SGB101

          You have some good points but just spoil it with insults.

        • Alex

          Have you seen not android based Samsung “smartphones” ? They are not really good from software side, available downloadable apps. So without Android, Samsung wouldn’t be there, where it is nowdays. Back then they saw a huge chance to get a kinda good OS for “free” (sure they customized it, etc).

        • squiddy20

          1. Samsung dominates in Android market share. So what? That doesn’t automatically mean Samsung will also dominate the smartphone market with Tizen.
          2. In just the 2 sentences and 1 rhetorical question above, I’ve just disproved half of your mindless rant (and without making childish insults at that). Grow up.
          3. I find it hilarious that you once cried/whined about *us* not respecting *you* in the comments. With completely unfounded insults like what you’ve posted here, is it any wonder we don’t respect you? For god sakes, you talk like a 13 year old who think he knows everything and everyone else is always wrong. Which in itself is hilarious since you’ve been wrong countless times about so many different things it’s utterly sad.
          4. “Google put their hand in the cookie jar against their partners by owning Motorola which clearly Sent a message to their partners that all Google cares most about is themselves.” Yes, Google now owns Motorola. But Motorola is run almost completely independent of Google. This was stated many many times in all of the articles ever written on the topic. Also, a company that “cares most about [itself]? *GASP* Say it isn’t so!!!!! Are you living under a rock or something? What company *doesn’t* “care most about itself” and its bottom line?

        • Orion78

          You are a complete idiot. First of all, stop copying and pasting other people’s stuff. I’ll always choose Android over Samsung any day. What’s really a joke is your obsession with Samsung. You honestly would pick an OEM over Android as a whole? Go make some money before you can post crap on someone else’s computer.

        • richie rich

          while you are correct samsung did give a big helping hand to android as a system, that had was for both benefits. part of what makes the samsung devices so popular is android so one with out the other would completely change the market and not for the better….
          you would be remiss if you believe that samsung moving over to tizen would change anything, as all the most popular devices at the moment all run android and I doubt samsung would send out an update for s3′s that consists of a whole new operating system…

          for tizen to be any real success it needs to be a something really special and the device it would come with would also have to be something truly phenomenal…

          people like android right now because it is one of the first completely open system that is also very simple to use, Unlike linux which is free but you need a computing degree to know how to use it lol….

          if you had learned anything about mobile tech and software is that you cant have a great device with crappy software something noika failed to do when they tried to keep moving forward with symbian… even with out samsung android will grow because it is a mobile platform most of us have taken to heart,,,

        • Ab

          u have some good point, but u just totally got it wrong, if Samsung had made the decision Nokia made, they would be in a sorry situation right now, i’m not denying there prowess, but good software was the missing variable in there equation, and Android gave it to them, so w/o google android samsung is nothing, but w/o samsung Google is still that omnipresent web giant.

        • redraider133

          Actually I think if samsung was never in the picture another manufacturer would have picked up the slack. But I agree Samsung is huge now but remember a few years back when their devices were awful?

        • Max.Steel

          Once again your keen and unwitting stupidity shines through. First, you dick rided HTC now it’s Samsung. You really are a pathetic waste of air.

  • bj

    Because web apps are so good… they are not. Native apps can do far far more. Web apps are just that…Web apps…aka..not real apps…If that’s their strategy..It will fail. I like many others have watched ios and android rise from nothing..she in the early stages they used web apps…ave they were horrible….html5 might make it better looking…but it just won’t preform as well or do what a native app can do.

  • redraider133

    I wonder if this does end up happening and being a big seller if samsung continues to get hit with lawsuits from apple… Will be interesting to see what happens. The more competition the better IMO.

  • kikin81

    I don’t know if we are supposed to take this article seriously.

    If you strongly believe that HTML5 is a perfect platform for mobile devices, then I have a bridge to sell you. HTML5 is so much inferior to mobile operating systems whose basis is on Linux such as Android and iOS. These operating systems have years of experience and hundreds of frameworks for security, http, emailing, databases. Even advanced operating systems like Ubuntu Phone and Windows Phone 8 can’t compete with iOS and Android.

    The advantage of Tizen is that you can build apps with HTML, but you can already do that using frameworks like PhoneGap. Those apps built with HTML lag behind in performance and capabilities when compared to native Java (android) and Objective-C (iOS).

    This is a piece of…crap article.

  • Sunny Srinidhi

    There are many frameworks already available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, and Tizen which let developers write one program for all these platforms in HTML and JavaScript. And as a freelance developer, I’ve tried a couple of such platforms and got frustrated just after a couple of days. Web technologies are not meant for mobile devices. But then again, that’s IMO.

    Also, one strong feature of Android which is driving it is the Google ecosystem. I believe nobody can replicate that on any platform. All my contacts, emails, pictures, notes, etc. get synced across all my devices and also with the web so that I get the same content on my computers too. That takes years of efforts to build and Google has done a wonderful job here. I do not think Samsung can take on Google with Tizen.

    And with the Nexus line of devices become more powerful while being affordable, we may soon see Google selling more devices. The Moto G is going to stir up the mid range smartphone market. The Nexus 5, though not perfect, is great for the price tag. Here, I believe, Samsung has much to worry than Google.

    I’m telling all this even though I’m a big fan of Samsung Galaxy line up, both the S series and the Note series. I’ve been using them for years now, and I love them. But if Samsung is going to compete with Google and the Android OS, I’ll bet my money on the Nexus line.

  • Sir Alex

    Unlike apple users, Android users are loyal to Android, not Samsung.

    • SGB101

      I don’t think that is true, only us that read sites like this think that way, the other 99.9% ask for a sammy/HTC or Sony etc not an android.

      Most today ask for rather a Samsung or iPhone, usually on contract (not many can afford £600), so they are locked into a 24month contract, so even if they get a tizen phone, and and maybe little disappointed (it may be good with a great selection of apps) over the two years they may well get a customer to it.

      Look what happened to Android, I’ve been here since 2008, and I’m the first to say it wasn’t great in the early 1.1>1.6 days. But I could see what it could become.

      There is 3 billion people in ais

      • SGB101

        There is 4 billion people as a Africa that may be routing for a non US/Google alternative, the world doesn’t really America, euro land/uk is ambivalent mostly, as it’s one in the same, an also not likes by the emerging contents

  • Bob Someguy

    So I go to this new App Store and try to find all the game I paid for either out of app or in app, and don’t find them. I go to their movie download site, and find none of the movies I paid for. I go to the book store and fine no books I paid for. I then return the phone and go back to Android or Iphone. People are buying the environment not the the phone. There is a reason why companies still use Windows and will never move to Apple or Linux, their paid apps are in Windows.

  • ashok pai

    let there be more competition. at least we will keep google in check ! without a strong competition innovation will stop and abuse will start. I’d much rather see tizen have 5% market share than windows phone, microsoft simply needs to curl up and wither away, they have had too much of the desktop & office pie for far too long

  • google nerd

    How can Samsung seriously believe it can take on google.? What if Google blocks its services to tizen? Clearly no users. Imagine a phone with no Google apps….. YUCK!

  • Sourav Pandey

    Does n’t matter who won the race because android os support html5 and also tizen have html5.
    we can develop apps like android for tizen tizen may be competitor of android in future.
    good thing in tizen os can run android apps.

  • Dean Caldwell

    What a load of garbage! “Imagine for a moment if Samsung was not in the Android scene. Android wouldn’t be anywhere near the size it currently is.”? You have to be pulling your old fella if you think this is the case. Android was use on many devices before Samsung even thought of using it.
    HTC had it for a start with the Dream. First Android phone ever. It then went on to being used in mediaplayers. Then Samsung and Sony jumped on the bandwagon.
    If it wasn’t for HTC making the phone for Google, it probably wouldn’t be where it is. Now I’m not saying that some other OEM wouldnt have picked it up but to say Samsung has made Android’s success is garbage!
    I like Samsung. I like what they do. I love the fact that they take risks but when it comes down to the released product. I just don’t like them. I dont think Samsung builds a quality phone. They concentrate too much on useless gimmicks like air swipe and eye tracking. I know so many people that had issues with the S3 and some the S2. In saying that, I know A LOT more with iPhone issues.

  • Jason

    I’ve spent a lot on Google play. They would have to offer something pretty amazing that Google couldn’t follow or they would have to be compatible with the investment I’ve already made in Android before I would ever consider following Samsung to tizen

  • Wesley

    I don’t think having yet another OS in the market, confusing people even more, is a good thing for consumers. There is plenty competition to make iOS, Android, and Windows Phone strive to be better. All Tizen would do is muddy the waters in a market over saturated already. Being an Android enthusiast, I would prefer more of my friends and family to use Android for compatibility between apps and such.

  • Kurt

    Samsung wouldn’t get 5% of the market share with Tizen. Not even close without Google apps. Microsoft would have a better shot of duplicating the Google app experience than Samsung/Tizen.

  • PaulieG

    Not sure what’s going on over with Android And Me but the quality of articles is really starting to go downhill. The only time I find myself posting a comment these days is to remind the author how retarded their article was.

    This is another occasion. Seriously guys, lift your game. This is crap filler drivel.

  • Marcel Hoffs

    “Imagine for a moment if Samsung was not in the Android scene. Android wouldn’t be anywhere near the size it currently is.”

    Without Android, Samsung wouldn’t be where it was today. If they want Tizen to be a success they need to convince iOS and Android developers that it pays of to develop for Tizen. After they are convinced they actually still have to do it…

    This is something huge companies like Microsoft and BlackBerry are currently failing, getting the developers onboard. I don’t see why Tizen would be different.

  • Jon

    “But splitting their focus between two operating systems doesn’t sound like the wisest plan.” The last time I checked Samsung was still making Windows Phone devices, so they would be splitting their focus three ways instead of two.

  • NotAgain

    As long as it’s proprietary to Samsung only, I doubt it’ll be that popular. Especially based off the apps that the offer now. Most of them are crap compared to Google’s version.

  • firsrin

    I think Samsung are losing there edge. I have had 2 sammy devices and I don’t think I will be getting another one. I see a lot of people with Sony’s and nexus devices now. If Sammy went , somebody else would just fill the hole (which is getting smaller).

  • sere83

    simple answer: NO

    As everyone has mentioned to court all the app devs necessary to make this platform survive will be a ridiculously daunting task. If microsoft is struggling to do it don’t see how Samsung will do it any easier. I wish WebOS had not died to be honest, was a a much more beautiful OS than this junk and there’s now very little competition is the OS space.

    From what I have seen its also a bland eyesore. Personally I also think that samsung doesn’t have a fanatical fanbase like apple and as other manufacturers are continuously improving (LG a great example) better more powerful android devices appear it will be very difficult to get them away from the android OS. Google also basically has a monopoly now in mobile due to their crucial services so many people use. Unless you are already established like iOS/Android I cant see another similar OS making a dent.

  • somfw

    This article again? Every month, like clockwork, this same “would of, should of, could of, what if, imagine” B.S story gets reposted by some journalist wannabee. It’s old, it’s boring and it’s all make believe. Why not start this story with something like “Just as had been speculated ad nauseum in the past, I am going to fill my quota with a story about nothing”!
    It would save you and all involved a lot of time.

  • Brooks Barnard

    First off, AAM writers have no quota to fill.

    Second, I don’t disagree that we see this tizen story every once and a while, but every time I think tizen is going away it gets more corporate backing or some fun rumor starts. It’s obviously something that’s fun to think about. Nick wrote an “opinion” article and obviously you guys all have your own opinions on the matter. I think it’s fun to hear what the community thinks…

    • PaulieG

      I’m not arguing that the fact Tizen exists, that it’s on Samsung’s roadmap to (who knows where) and is definitely worthy of some air time occasionally, but I’d like that news framed with a bit of common sense and paired with a decent understanding of the topic.

      Statements like – “Android wouldn’t be anywhere near the size it is without Samsung” certainly do not help this articles cause. It just made me rolls my eyes and change the channel.

  • donger

    Samsung ha.

  • tma

    Samsung was Crap in Cell Phone industry, there were only Nokia, Iphone, Sony-Ericsson…

  • Bill blake

    Thasung is not android at all how many time have you brought back a Samsung phone to get fix….n compared That to the nexus line up Android will still be big no matter what Samsung have up it sleeves.

    • Bill blake

      If the new nexus was just the same size and storage as the note 3 I would never look at Samsung….

  • aranea

    We’ve seen with the competition among Android, iOS and Windows (yes it’s a competition larger than Tizen for now) quality of the device goes only so far. Nokia-Windows phones have great hardware (best camera for example) and Nokia name is equal to cellphone in many countries (we are talking non US). Yet Windows doesn’t go far because it lacks the ecosystem and apps and it’s hard to make people shift all their data from one ecosystem to another one. Initially, Android was criticized and even ridiculed by iphone users about the app, or lack of it. Tizen needs to break into solid ecosystems, provide app support and convince people that their system is worth the trouble of doing a move. Not easy. Though a competition is always good.

  • RoyalJoker

    I don’t see this working for the fact android and apple are so advanced now and have so many applications. Every developer would have to make there application for tizen. Now look at how android gets most applications months after apple. Tizen would get there applications most likely months after android. I like the idea of competition I just don’t see it working. Apple should of done this years ago. Apple is 6 years old and android is 5 years old. That’s most likely too much for android to catch up too. Then the fact a lot of people buy these Samsung phones because they are one of the premier android phones. Will they buy a premier tizen phone bare with applications? Don’t think so but we will see it looks like

  • RoyalJoker

    Samsung should of done it years ago I meant. Damn this crap cement system

  • Unbreakable360

    If it wasn’t for Samsung? Lol that was a ridiculous statement. As said previously Samsung was already known before Android so If the company didn’t join the smart phone band wagon then HTC would have been top dog right now easily. Personally I never liked Samsung phones they have nothing that can’t be attained through a 3rd party app. Much like apple Samsung is all commercial hype for halfwitted ppl who are too lazy to research and just want pick up the next “what’s in” thing. Society is built on let me do what everyone else is doing right now. Pathetic

    • Unbreakable360

      But about tizen being a threat hmm Idk if it’s built off of Linux and is similar to Android then I don’t see the point. Apps being built on html5 code… Wouldn’t that mean that apps would have to stay connected to Web for then to work? If that’s the case I’ve read that a lot of ppl already don’t like the always connected idea so I don’t see it flying anywhere. The part about ppl who already like Samsung migrating without notice will be a potential threat but minor, because if you already like android instincts well tell you to find the next best phone phone “htc”

  • Unbreakable360

    Or nexus

  • jasper

    Does nobody remember bada?

    • Darkness

      there was a joke about “bada bing” … :)

  • Danny Williams-Ruiz

    I can see LG taking over Samsung’s position if they leave because Google are working really closely now with LG and Samsung were probably breaking away as soon as Google chose LG as the OEM for nexus 4

  • jamal adam

    I feel that in order for Tizen to compete with the likes of Android and even iOS it needs a mature ecosystem which it cannot create within a matter of a year or two even with Samsung and Intel’s deep pockets. I mean look at Windows Phone and you can really see that not having a mature ecosystem has been hurting them since its inception. Tizen can have many things going for it and even if Samsung abandoned Android in say 2 or 3 years time, if the ecosystem cannot match that of Android, brand recognition of the Galaxy lines won’t do much because consumers will want apps, apps, and more apps. At this point I feel that brand isn’t the only thing that people care about but also the ecosystem which includes apps, accessories, etc.

    I personally don’t mind the competition because it means more innovation and improvements at a faster pace for the consumer and that is always going to be a good thing.

  • Paul Atreides

    I don’t believe Samsung would think of dropping Android anytime soon if ever. They do have the cash to offer a few Tizen phones along side their Android line-up which I believe is more likely to happen. Why wasn’t it a big deal when they were making WP devices? If WP would’ve taken off they could of dropped Android in that situation as well.

  • jon islan

    How long will it be until Microsoft tries to extort license fees from Samsung for supposed patent infringements by Tizen?

  • Terrance

    It seems like people are sure that Htc would have steeped up if Samsung would not have. After the junk Htc hd2. My son and I both owned one, They curled up and died, All phones till the One where under powered or narrowly focused. Samsung just keeps upping there game and pushing other companies to up there game, The Note 3 is clearly pushing the envelope as well as other companies Lg and Htc.will I follow Tizen? maybe I will see how these shake out. I am not loyal to Google or Samsung . I just see who is pushing the envelope and who is resting. If your not sure fire up a note 3 then let me know.

  • Derek Kerton

    “Many consumers will follow Samsung over to Tizen without even thinking about the operating system.”

    No, they won’t. Not unless they can get each of the 800,000 Android apps they care about on Tizen. That was the problem Android faced in its early years, and Windows Phone and BB face still. Sure, WinPho and BB10 are great mobile OSes, but where are the apps?

    Although consumers don’t really care much about the OS, developers do. Devs go where the consumers are, and for now, it ain’t Tizen. Consumers DO care about functionality, and that means apps. They go where the devs/apps are…also not Tizen. This is about ecosystems, not just about an OS on a phone. Samsung can decide on a change in their phones, but how do they change the globe’s developers?


  • rhy

    If tizen was able to form a real time cluster with my PC, tablet, and phone, and also replicate my data across all three (or more), I would switch today. Especially if on the desktop it looked like Linux mint, on my tablet and phone it looked like kitkat, and it had all the right open source apps……