Thursday, February 14, 2013

Samsung's Tizen Devices May Split Android Alliance

Source:  Appleinsider, Tizen.

Google or Samsung could be in for a rude awakening.  See, Samsung could be in the process of unfriending Android as Google become more and more of a competitor than a partner as Google is looking to dethrone not on the iPhone but the premier Galaxy devices as well.

First a little history of how these tech giants used to be friends but changes and advances in technology has forced their hands and shifted alliances.

So we know that Apple and Google don't get along these days.  It wasn't always like this.  Back during the PC days, it was Apple versus IBM and then Microsoft.  As Apple floundered and came back to life again with Steve Jobs' second coming, newcomer Google and Apple buddied up to take on Microsoft.  

The Apple-Google alliance was one to be reckoned with.  It would take on mighty Redmond and relegate Microsoft to the fringes as computing, both desktop and emerging mobile, shifted to browsers and apps on mobile devices.

Of course, Microsoft fought back as best as it could against the iPhone.  RIM gave no heed to Apple. Nor did Palm.  Things were good until Google's Android began to take hold of the market.  Well, it's more complicated than that but the gist is that Apple and Google began a multi-year process of splitting up.

Then there's also the Apple-Samsung alliance where Samsung made much of the little components that goes into the iOS devices.  It was a relationship for both until Samsung decided to copy Apple's designs and look of the iPhone.  At least that is Apple's side of the story.  It's a lot of "it said, it said" from both sides.

Google's relationship with most Android device makers like Samsung were good in the early days.  But after Google purchased Motorola, you can fee the change in the air.  The news was met with chilled responses at best from Google's partners.  

And we come to today.  A new alliance was formed last year between Samsung and Intel and the result is a new mobile OS called Tizen (wiki and website). It's another Linux-based open source operating system.  It's one that Samsung is looking towards as Google becomes more of a competitive threat by the day.  And Samsung will be unveiling and selling Tizen-based devices this year.  

Of course, as mobile fans, we want to embrace this.  More OS on the market means more competition.  It's a good thing.  A great thing.  We've got Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Tizen along with a few other smaller ones (Firefox OS, Ubuntu) looking to break out one day.  

No one knows for sure what Samsung is hoping to do with Tizen here.  Is Tizen just shot at Google to warn them over Android competition?  Or will Samsung really begin the shift from Android to Tizen?  No one really knows right now.  It really depends on the market.

For the foreseeable future, Android and Samsung smartphones are joined at the hip with Samsung making a few token Windows 8 phones.  We'll have to watch carefully just how hard Samsung pushes Tizen as an alternative.  

What will happen if Tizen does take off?  Again, it's great for us because competition is good for the market. It'll drive Apple, Google, and anyone else to continue innovating as hard as ever.  It'll prove that the mobile  landscape can change overnight.

However, for Android, there could be come big changes.  Perhaps there will always be a Samsung device running Android but should Tizen take off, Samsung will start making more devices, especially high-end ones like the Galaxy S and tablets.  And what's also interesting is that Android apps can run on Tizen devices.

That is key. Apps.  And you bet Samsung has already considered this issue.  

In the future, Android users will have to choose if they had been following the brand or the OS.  If they wanted high-end devices, they'll likely have to see what Google, LG, and Motorola has to offer.  For Galaxy S devices, obviously, it could be just Samsung's Tizen.

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