Samsung is giving up singlehandedly developing its own homegrown operating system for mobile devices as the South Korean company will be folding the Bada OS into Tizen, a report reveals. This is very smart of Samsung and I’ll tell you why I think so later.
First off, let’s discuss the Bada and Tizen merge. The news comes via Forbes which says that a high-level Samsung official has said that Samsung has an effort to merge Bada with Tizen.
Senior Vice President of Samsung’s Contents Planning Team Tae-Jin Kang is quoted saying in an interview at the past CES that the company has “an effort that will merge Bada and Tizen.”
Allow me to refresh your memory. Tizen was launched by Intel and Samsung in September. It’s an open-source Linux-based OS. Tizen is essentially what became of MeeGo after MeeGo was abandoned by Nokia (which also abandoned its proprietary Symbian mobile OS) as the Finnish handset maker announced early last year that it will use Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform for its high-end mobile devices.
Obviously, Tizen is not MeeGo but Tizen has technologies carried over from MeeGo. It is what became of MeeGo, I say, in the sense that Intel’s efforts, which should have been dedicated to MeeGo had Nokia not abandon it, were redirected to Tizen. Meanwhile, Bada is Samsung’s attempt to make its own proprietary mobile OS.
Anyway, Forbes says that Kang did not say when the company will complete the merging of Bada and Tizen. Nonetheless, the publication says that work on merging the two operating systems is “already underway”.
Furthermore, Kang reportedly said that after the merge, Tizen will support apps written using the Bada SDK including backwards compatibility with already-released Bada apps. Moreover, the merge will be done in such a way that those who know how to develop for Bada will also know how to develop for Tizen.
As I said a while ago, this is a very smart move for Samsung.
It’s because it currently is the biggest maker of Android phones. However, it also supports Bada, Tizen and Windows Phone. Now that Bada will become Tizen, it only supports three. It can pool more resources into giving better experiences with all of the operating systems that power its huge range of smartphones.
Not only that, Tizen is a joint project Samsung launched with Intel, a first-class partner in the tech industry. Tizen also has the support of other tech companies like Acer and Asus. HTC was also reportedly thinking of supporting Tizen. Those tidbits are from September last year and there might be more support for Tizen now.
However, the biggest win for Samsung here is that it’s guaranteeing a spot in Intel’s campaign to storm the world of mobile devices. Intel has already announced this push to win over mobile.
With Intel’s push to make chips that are designed to power smartphones and tablets, it’s very likely that the Tizen platform will have an advantage over other platforms in some way or another when running on a device powered by Intel’s own line of mobile chips. A close relationship with Intel guarantees that Samsung will have first access to things if and when Intel-powered mobile devices (which may be powered by Tizen) take off.
Kang said that Tizen is looking likely to power low-end devices from Samsung in the near-future. This may be smartphones that are powered by single-core processors. This could be a strategy for Samsung and Intel where they take Tizen conquer the lower-end market first then transitioning it to include more powerful devices.
After all, this strategy can work. Look at Nokia which is famous for making huge profits from low margins by selling a ton of low-end phones. The lower price of lower-end phones makes it more accessible to the masses. They could always decide to make devices running on Tizen which could be considered as superphones. Besides, take a look at what Kang said to Forbes. “Tizen is better suited for higher-powered devices that don’t run on Android or Windows Phone, he said,” Forbes writes.
It’s kind of a bet and a step towards assuring that Samsung covers all bases. However, if Intel becomes successful with its mobile push, and Tizen becomes a major player in that push, Samsung would be glad it did this.
What do you think? Tell us more in the comments.