updated 04:20 pm EDT, Tue September 25, 2012
Tizen-powered i9300 said to come in near future
Rumors abound that Samsung is working on a Tizen-powered Galaxy smartphone, and now DigiTimes reports that the South Korean manufacturer is preparing to roll out a Tizen phone in the near future. Sources said to be familiar with Samsung's plans say that there are concerns regarding the likelihood of Tizen having a significant impact in a mobile sector dominated by Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system. Still, the introduction of another viable mobile operating system could prove beneficial to hardware manufacturers, who are largely beholden to Google and wary of the search giant's moves toward manufacturing its own hardware and the complex legal environment surrounding Android.
Tizen is a scalable operating system that grew out of a partnership between Samsung and Intel. It is said to be capable of running on anything from smart appliances to tablets and smartphones to desktop computers. With the use of Open Mobile's Application Compatibility Layer, Tizen can also run apps built for Android.
Samsung developed the OS, but it wasn't until recently that Samsung devices began to appear running it. Earlier this week, a Tizen-powered Galaxy S III showed up as Wi-Fi certified, leading to speculation that Samsung was working on a Tizen variant of its popular smartphone, which typically ships running Android.
As Tizen is as yet unestablished in the mobile sector, it would likely require a large push from both Samsung and Intel in order to spur consumer adoption and encourage hardware manufacturers to take anything more than tentative steps toward fuller support. HTC, Acer, and Asus are already said to have worked on Tizen devices, but little in the way of information on those devices has become available.
For Intel, a Tizen-powered device could represent a solid opportunity to establish itself in the mobile sector, which is dominated by ARM-based processors. Intel has been looking to grow its footprint in the sector, but it has largely been playing catchup, with only a few devices bearing Intel processors.
Significant market share for Tizen would give manufacturers yet another OS option and increased leverage against Google, whose Android operating system dominates the smartphone sector. Industry figures have already noted that Samsung might be better served were it to develop and release its own mobile OS, and a Tizen-powered device could be the South Korean manufacturer's way of demonstrating to its peers that there is another option aside from Google and Microsoft, both of which have recently made moves to increase their presences in the hardware sector.