Samsung was working to introduce at least two smartphones running on its own Tizen operating system, a major step in the market leader’s bid to break out of the Android universe said Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team in an interview with Reuters.
Samsung has been musing about the idea of rolling out Tizen-based devices for more than 2 years now in a bid to build an independent ecosystem aside from Google’s tightly controlled Android ecosystem. The device manufacturer has been rolling out its own versions of software some of which emulate Google’s own Apps in its flagship devices such as S translator, S Voice Drive, S Health, Samsung Hub, Adapt display, Drama Shot, Smart scroll and pause, ,Samsung Knox, Group Play, Dual video call, ChatOn, Air view among others which are all Samsung services that have nothing to do with Android.
However, earlier this year, Google and Samsung signed a global patent cross-licensing agreement aimed at reducing “the potential for litigation” and enhancing innovation. The agreement is based on the fact that Google needs Samsung because its the biggest Android smartphone and tablet maker while Samsung needs Google because of Android’s wide popularity. This “Googsung” arrangement similar to that between Microsoft and Intel or “Wintel” still won’t deter the South Korean device maker from rolling out its own operating system.
Samsung has already invested a handful in Tizen. Last year, the company was named among the top 10 contributors of the Linux — the kernel on which Tizen is running on by the Linux foundation. Further more, Samsung dropped Android and switched to Tizen for the second version of its Gear smartwatch which went on sale last week.
This however, doesn’t mean Samsung is ditching Google’s Android anytime soon. Yoon said that although Android “still needs to be our main business”, Tizen or Windows would be used for markets that Android could not address.
Samsung’s first Tizen phone, which will launch around the end of the second quarter, would be a high-end model and the second would mainly be aimed at the middle of the market to drive volume growth.