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Mid-range model will also launch; both phones will target developing markets

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) is expected to launch a smartphone in May that runs a Linux kernel-based competitor to Google Inc.'s (GOOG) ubiquitous Android smartphone operating system.  The phone's performance sales-wise will be closely watched, given that Samsung is Google's largest volume partner for Android.  
I. Tizen Creeps Close
The new smartphone platform is dubbed "Tizen".  Many believe that Samsung views Tizen as a path to cornering more mobile profits for itself, amid growing dissatisfaction with having to share a cut of mobile advertising revenue with Google.
In the wearables market, Samsung has already embraced Tizen.  

Tizen Samsung
Samsung is preparing to launch its first Tizens-powered Linux smartphones.
[Image Source: beritateknologi]

The upcoming Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches will both be powered by the Samsung co-developed operating system.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

According to Samsung Electronics' SVP Yoon Han-Kil, chief of product strategy, told reporters with the International Business Times and other publications that Samsung will launch a "high-end" smartphone powered by Tizen near the end of Q2 2014, next month in May.  A mid-range targeted Tizen smartphone is also expected to roll out before the end of Q2.
II. The Path to Tizen
The path to Tizen was winding and wild.  The roots of Tizen trace back to a pair of mobile operating system projects -- one at Intel Corp. (INTC), one at Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) (Maemo).  Together the joint OS effort was dubbed Meego.
But after the 2010 launch of the Meego project, it never saw traction, as Nokia instead opted to go with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone operating system for its mobile future.  After it officially dropped out of the Meego collaboration in early 2011, Intel opted to shack up with the Samsung Linux Platform (SLP), which was relaunched as Tizen.

Tizen is thought to incorporate some of Intel's technology from Meego, but it is directly derived from SLP, not Meego.

Tizen phone
Tizen in the wild on a Samsung prototype device [Image Source: Indonesia Tizen]

The high-end model launching next month is thought to be codenamed SM-Z9005 and will launch at an event in Russia, according to the blog Indonesia Tizen.  Tizen product will first be used by Samsung to target developing markets such as Russia, Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia.
The higher-end first-generation Tizen phone is expected to resemble last year's Android-powered flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Galaxy S4
The high-end Tizen device is expected to be based on last year's flagship Android, the Galaxy S4. [Image Source: AP]

While the initial implementation of Tizen is heavily geared towards mobile from an API, UI, and applications front, Samsung hopes to also use the Tizen OS to drives its Smart TVs and appliances, showcasing its ability to extend outside the mobile space.
Samsung is not alone in the Tizen effort.  Tizen's other major OEM backer is China's Huawei Technology Comp., Ltd. (SHE:002502).  Tizen is also backed by a variety of chipmakers, software firms, and telecoms.

Huawei, one of the world's fastest growing smartphone makers, is approaching the project from a similar position as Samsung -- currently it depends on Android, but it would like to use Tizen across part of its line to cut out the middleman (Google) and corner more profit for itself.

Sources: Tizen Indonesia, IB Times

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I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By retrospooty on 4/28/2014 1:35:55 PM , Rating: 4
Will they do a lean, faster alternative, or will they bloat it to death like they do to their Android phones?

Will it be totally open so people can do whatever they want with it, or is it a veiled attempt to control everything and force users into using Samsung services that are not as good as others out there.

RE: I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By stm1185 on 4/28/2014 2:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'd buy one tomorrow if they subsidized it themselves. Give me an Galaxy S5, toss Tizen on it, Cut the price to $299 off contract.

If OnePlusOne can do it, how can Samsung not?

By karimtemple on 4/28/2014 2:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Because OnePlus is doing it on Android. Samsung is thinking about monetizing the OS on their devices, but are they thinking about the value proposition? Can they actually make a more compelling (or at the very least equal) platform than Android? I get wanting to be more than just a hardware OEM, but people aren't just going to hand you money because they liked your last phone. I'm certainly skeptical myself, but perhaps that's unfair since I don't care about Samsung phones in the first place.

RE: I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By quiksilvr on 4/28/2014 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 3
App support is key. The software itself is solid and runs really well from the Hands-On videos. But app support will be the defining factor. We already have developers making apps for 3-4 platforms right now but are focusing only on the two big ones. I'm not sure how a 5th one will work but it is an interesting route to take nonetheless.

By karimtemple on 4/28/2014 4:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The apps are indeed where it's at. I really have no reason to believe that Tizen will become a rich ecosystem. It'll just be a weird even-later-than-Windows latecomer on a handful of devices. The apps will go where the money is, which is iOS and Android, and for now in that order.

But the funniest thing about this is that Samsung may still stand to increase their earnings by using Tizen, despite all of this. And I'm pretty sure that's all they really care about. It's been a long time since Samsung was hungry and came at things from the consumer's perspective. So anyway, more power to them. To me this headline reads as "Absence of Reasons to Care About Samsung Phones Continues."

By retrospooty on 4/28/2014 11:34:29 PM , Rating: 3
"It's been a long time since Samsung was hungry and came at things from the consumer's perspective."

That is exactly it... It seems to be a recurring theme. Companies start making great things that customers want, then they get huge and start making mediocre things that drive their own internal agenda's. That "internal agenda" eventually overtakes the "making great things that customers want" - MS did it, HP, Blackberry, now Samsung is neck deep into it. Oh well, bummer for them.

By NellyFromMA on 4/29/2014 9:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't think people will hand a company money because they were "just happy with their last phone" then you fail to realize exactly how 99% of the market decides on their next purchase.

By karimtemple on 4/29/2014 9:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
Enough people to establish a new mobile platform? lol. No.

I'll have to see the software and roadmap to decide for myself what I'll really think of Tizen, but if I had to bet blind right now I'd bet against it.

By dimsum888 on 4/29/2014 7:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Oneplusone workers are prisoners and don't get paid

By tayb on 4/28/2014 2:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
The article mentioned Samsung not being happy sharing so much advertising revenue with Google so I would expect Samsung to try and drive their own services.

The only service that will be impossible to replace is Google Maps. There are better alternatives for just about everything else Google offers except for Maps. Now, whether Samsung will actually implement better alternatives is another question. I've used Samsung phones so my guess would be absolutely not.

Samsung is in a much better place financially than they were in 2007 but they are still at risk of a huge portion of their business being reliant on a 3rd party. If Google decides to change direction with Android what is Samsung going to do? Fork it and go it alone? Good luck. They need to pressure Google to keep developing Android on Samsung terms and have an wildcard to play if Google stops playing ball.

Personally I don't take too much stock in this announcement. Too much money for both Samsung and Google for them to mess this up.

RE: I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By name99 on 4/28/2014 2:20:55 PM , Rating: 3
(1) Bloat.
(2) Not open.

This has been another episode of simple answers to complicated questions.

You didn't even raise the issue of whether the product will suck.
Spoiler alert: IT WILL.
Has Samsung EVER shown the slightest competence in software, even at the basic "S-Health" sort of level? Why do you imagine this competence will suddenly magically appear now that they have to deal with everything from OS level to APIs to UI?
Imagine everything incompetent about the Gear or Gear Fit, only blown up to the size of a phone.

By retrospooty on 4/28/2014 5:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... That would be my guess too, but my mind is open to it.

I always say this... I use Android now because it is the best platform available today for a tech-junkie, gadget whore like me. I don't think we will still be using Android in 10-15 years time and I welcome the day when something else comes along and topples Android from the top of the heap. Why? Because the only way to do that is if the other platform is better - so we all win. It probably wont be Tizen, but eventually something will come along... Or Android will keep improving and stay on top. Either way, better stuff for us.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/28/2014 8:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
The reason Samsung phones have "bloat" is because they have to offer Google Apps as WELL as their alternatives to the Google apps that Samsung wants people to use.

So no, I don't see why Tizen would be "bloated", as they wont be forced to use Google's apps ontop of their own.

By retrospooty on 4/28/2014 10:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
/facepalm. Wha?

They have to offer their own alternatives with crappy apps like S voice? The rest are 90% crap too. That is internal agenda crap like MS has been pulling lately. There is no have to, they chose to. Worse than that they put so much in that its slows down the whole phone. There is no excuse forcthat, its just piss poor engineering.

By retrospooty on 4/28/2014 10:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, this was all over last week. As many Samsung phones that are out there, no one uses the lousy apps.

RE: I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By atechfan on 4/29/2014 8:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
Is it because the Samsung apps are really bad, or because they just duplicate functionality that the Google apps do better?

By retrospooty on 4/29/2014 9:02:44 AM , Rating: 2
They are doubly bad. They aren't nearly as good as the Google defaults, they run constantly in the background and cause horrible bloat/lag that gives the entire Android platform a black eye. It's WAY beyond ridiculous. Root it and remove all the Samsung apps and they are actually really fast phones, up there with the best of them.

By Labotomizer on 5/5/2014 5:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I agree. They're bad AND there are already better alternatives bundled in. Which makes it doubly a slap in the face. The fact that holding search went to SVoice instead of Google Now is absurd. Google Now had pretty good voice recognition, even in a car driving down the road. SVoice might work in a library if you shouted...

RE: I wonder how Samsung will implement Tizen...
By rountad on 4/29/2014 1:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
The report said that U.S. users of Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones logged an average of six seconds per month using ChatON, compared to more than 11 hours per month on Facebook and about two hours per month on Instagram.

It's six seconds per month because that is how long it takes the average user to force quit the app!

By retrospooty on 4/30/2014 8:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
"It's six seconds per month because that is how long it takes the average user to force quit the app!"

LOL... Exactly. And its only running in the background in first place because it auto launches when one wanted it to. So irritating.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2014 9:59:03 AM , Rating: 2
Retro take a pill.

Of course I didn't literally mean they "have to". Have to, want to, whatever same diff. You know what I meant. I can't edit posts!!!

My REAL point was, I don't see Tizen having "bloat" because they'll be less duplicate apps...

By retrospooty on 4/29/2014 10:27:53 AM , Rating: 2
I hope not... I also hope they fix the bloatware on their Android models.

By Labotomizer on 5/5/2014 5:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
Hardware makers rarely make a good transition into software. HP on the consumer front, Samsung, Sony. Just think about the absolute garbage interfaces they'd try to get on desktops. They see Android as the place to do the same thing on a mobile device. And very, very rarely are their add-ons better than the core experience. On any platform.

The only reason I kept TouchWiz was for the S-Pen.

By atechfan on 4/28/2014 4:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder a few things. Will Samsung go all-in on Tizen? Or will they half-ass it like they did with Windows Phone? Will they provide some sort of emulation layer like BB10 to run Android apps?

And most interesting to me, if they do cut back on Android to focus on Tizen, will loyalty to Samsung or to Android win out? Will current Galaxy S owners buy a Tizen powered Galaxy S, if Samsung offered one, for the Galaxy S name? Or would they switch to another vendor's Android flagship?

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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