Tizen has long been a part of the plan for Samsung, with it being brought in to help rid the South Korean company of its reliance on the Android operating system. But since its launch back in 2012, it’s so far failed to make any kind of lasting impression on the smartphone market.
So with the Tizen operating system having hung around without making a splash, will it ever be considered a realistic competitor to some of the other systems in the business? With Android, iOS and Windows all in its way – we take a look…
A bumpy start for Tizen
It’s understandably easy to write Tizen off as a failure, however to its credit, it’s had to contend with a horrific start to life. It was delayed for over a year right off the bat, with Samsung citing problems behind the scenes.
This helped push the first commercial smartphone launch of a Tizen smartphone back to January 2015, almost three years after the first version of the system was launched.
This meant that Tizen was left to battle it out on the wearable market beforehand – certainly not an ideal place to open your account as a new mobile OS.
One of the only device line-ups to pack the software was the Galaxy Gear wearable collection, which isn’t too much to shout about considering that Samsung’s co-CEO claimed that the Tizen OS would be on ‘everything’ during a discussion about the system. Unfortunately for Samsung, we’re still waiting for this to be the case…
A long road ahead for the Tizen OS
For software which was also named the ‘simple alternative for Android’, it’s been anything but simple so far. The system’s only smartphone effort, the Samsung Z1, has only been seen in emerging markets so far, and hasn’t exactly set the world alight.
It’s in other areas where Tizen has found most of its success, with one of its latest endeavours proving the most fruitful. Smart TVs have long struggled with picky interfaces which are more often than not a pain to move within, and Tizen has remedied that.
However, this kind of success hasn’t made its way into the mobile market as of yet. But what can Samsung do with Tizen to make it a more worthy smartphone OS?
“For software which was also named the ‘simple alternative for Android’, it’s been anything but simple so far”.
Give it more powerful or attractive hardware
Releasing the Z1 was a step in the right direction, but the phone wasn’t the most impressive, leading to a poor performance within its limited markets.
Packing a cramped 4” display, 4GB storage and less than 1GB RAM besides a subpar design isn’t exactly the best concoction, so why not sell the Tizen OS with a more user-friendly device?
Ideally a flagship handset would be the best stage for the system, but even something of a more mid-range level would be an improvement over the distinct budget vibe showcased on the Z1. Also, it would be great if it reached the UK market…
Give it something new
Each big name operating system that currently holds its own on the market has its own distinct set of features. iOS for example, pioneered Touch ID, whilst Android has favoured its customisable approach to its software, even Windows Phone sported its brand new Live Tile design to help it separate itself from the pack – Tizen has yet to do this.
Currently, many people see Tizen as a bit of an Android rip-off with a hint of the Samsung Touchwiz user interface which is so often found on Samsung handsets of the Android variety. Tizen needs to change this perception by bringing in meaningful features for its next smartphone launch, if it does this then it will be a real high flyer on the market.
Tizen in the future
Given Samsung’s track record, it’s bound to get better for Tizen sooner rather than later, with the rumours of an upcoming Samsung Z3 phone sporting the software being a big help. Rumoured to be sporting a 5” display, Snapdragon 410 chipset, 8GB storage and 1GB RAM, it’s not quite the flagship we were after but it’s an improvement.
But who says it has to stop there?
Samsung is clearly still interested in keeping the operating system, but for it to be considered a true competitor it will need a solid foundation to launch from or a high number of devices to work off. Either option is definitely plausible, with Samsung not afraid to launch numerous devices alongside its more storied Note and Galaxy S handsets.
It should stick with its burgeoning business inside other devices as well, with Smart TVs and wearables both proving the most reliable options. If Tizen doesn’t heed this advice, we may find that it will have cast a brief and somewhat underwhelming light on the mobile market…