It’s been an open secret that Samsung has never been so comfortable operating on someone else’s platform. While the Korean electronics company is one of the members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) which is at the core of Android, the mobile platform is still very much Google’s play and Google can do as it pleases with it.
For the last few years, Samsung has fronted Tizen, a platform which, like Android, is based on a Linux kernel and managed by the Tizen Alliance which draws membership from various industry partners like Intel as well as carriers like Japan’s NTT DoCoMo with the backing of the Linux Foundation.
While the company hasn’t been aggressive about releasing Tizen-based smartphones thanks to its dominant position in the Android world, its only effort so far, the Samsung Z series of smartphones, has had some little successes. It has risen to challenge Android in the busy and competitive market that is India.
It has been two years since the company ditched Google’s Android Wear in favour of its own platform and the company is not showing any signs of releasing an Android Wear-based wearable device. Even though its executives repeatedly deny any plans to totally abandon Android Wear, it looks like it is not just Android Wear whose long-term play is at stake: everything is.
According to a Samsung executive who spoke to The Korea Times, Samsung is looking to cut its reliance on Google’s Android by using Tizen on all its consumer devices. Tizen is already the platform of choice for Samsung’s wearables, televisions and other home appliances. Only smartphones have been left behind and the company is not only keen on changing this going forward but widening Tizen’s scope to include everything that rolls off its production facilities.
With the smartphone market showing signs of slowing down while interest in enterprise solutions starts to heat up, Samsung believes that Tizen will help it compete with rivals better than Android does. The company has invested heavily in solutions that either directly mimick or match functionality that is being built into Android. The latest such solution is Samsung Pay, Samsung’s own mobile payments solution meant to rival Apple Pay and Google’s own Android Pay.