The tech world is abuzz with the news about Samsung coming out with its own operating system, Tizen, which has been used in Samsung Z Smartphone. What’s the big deal? Well, for a start, the success of Tizen could end Android’s involvement in one of the leading Smartphone brands in the market. Samsung Z is also the first phone which has made use of Tizen on a commercial scale. This OS was unveiled on 2nd June well ahead of the Tizen Developer Conference, which is scheduled to be held in San Francisco. Samsung Z would be released during the third quarter of 2014 in Russia (initially) while the global markets could expect its availability at a later stage.
What is Tizen?
Tizen is an operating system designed by Samsung with a Linux kernel. This OS was not designed specifically for a single device usage, rather it was conceived to be compatible with multiple devices. The possible applications of Tizen include phones, wearable gadgets, powerful cameras, laptops and even the SmartTV series. Samsung is the primary user of this OS, while Intel and some others also support it. From a commercial perspective, this OS has been successfully integrated in a majority of Samsung’s Gear watches and some of the cameras that have powerful processing capabilities.
Check out the basic layout and interface of the Tizen OS, which is pretty much similar to Android but has functionalities that are unique.
The new operating system should help the brand to carve a new niche for its latest gadgets of 2014 as the presence of a proprietary OS would open up huge opportunities for the company with respect to application development and establishing an identity like Apple and its iOS operating system.
Like other operating systems, the Tizen will have its own dedicated marketplace where users may purchase applications that are designed to run on this new platform. While the basic apps come inbuilt in the devices, additional apps would also be offered. Samsung announced an exclusive 1 year promotional program for developers where budding talents and experienced professionals would be given a chance to become part of the Tizen ecosystem. The company has made no official statements about the number of apps that would be made available. This in addition to the lack of clarity with respect to Samsung’s commitment to the OS have posed great challenges for creating apps and services that are compatible with Tizen. Lee Min-hee, IM Investment Analyst, said, “The market for Tizen won’t be as big as Android or Apple’s iOS, so I think it will be a challenge for Samsung to build up an ecosystem. Tizen may be more useful as leverage in future negotiations with Google.”
Samsung Z – Specifications and Features
Samsung Z may not be the first phone to run Tizen (Ver. 2.2.1) as its operating system, it is definitely the first one that has been aimed at the mass market. The features that make it an absolutely must-have phone include:
- Display – 4.8 inch SuperAMOLED display with 1,280 x 720 resolution
- Camera – 8-megapixel (rear camera), 2.1-megapixel (front camera)
- Processor – 2.3GHz quad-core processor
- Operating System – Tizen OS 2.2.1
- Memory – 2 GB RAM
- Storage – 16 GB (internal storage), MicroSD Storage (External; Expandable up to 64 GB)
- Connectivity – 3G, 4G, WI-Fi, Micro-USB, Bluetooth, GPS/ GLONASS, and NFC options
- Battery – 2600mAh battery with an Ultra Power Saving Mode
- Special Features – Fingerprint Sensor, S Health (Samsung’s Health Hub App), LTE Radio, Download Booster
- Dimensions – 138.2 mm x 69.8 mm x 8.5 mm
- Weight – 136 grams
These features clearly indicate that the company has big plans for this new line of Smartphone and it could consider this as the beginning of a top-end series similar to Google’s Nexus series. DJ Lee, President and Head of Global Sales and Marketing Office, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics said, “Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs. The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively.”
What Can Be Expected from Tizen?
Samsung needs to ensure that Tizen accounts for 15% of its total Smartphone sales of the OS to be deemed as successful. Rachel Lashford, Singapore-based analyst at Canalys, said, “There is plenty of room and plenty of opportunity for a strong third vendor; arguably if you can carve out 10 percent of a two billion units market in Smartphones (by 2018), then that could be an opportunity.” Let’s see how Samsung’s devices perform with the new OS as user acceptance and efficiency are key factors that need to be focused while managing the commercial scale integration of the OS.
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