As Samsung prepares to launch their ‘Z’ model in July to the Russian market, the fact that it heralds the introduction of a new whole operating system has got commentators speculating that for Google’s Android, in the long term this could represent a threat to their dominance of the market for whom Apple products are not necessarily the logical choice.
Samsung is the largest handset developer in the world, in 2013 they had over a 30% market share, selling 555 million devices. The one area they were keen to exploit however, was the possibility that they may be able to free themselves from the dependency upon Google for their OS.
Last year, the South Korean firm engaged Intel to collaborate on the creation of an alternative OS. Called ‘Tizen’, the work in process will be unveiled this week at their Developer Conference in San Francisco.
While no indication has been given as of yet relating to the price of the new handset featuring Tizen, there has been more information made available as to the nature of the app store they will be implementing. The Tizen Store, it has been announced, will be providing developers with an incentive program for the next 12 months to kick start a whole new range of apps for their new OS.
Samsung Electronics have attempted to take the initiative in order to maintain the healthy lead they have at the top of the popularity charts in terms of smart devices. Their rivals HTC, Sony, LG and Huawei all use Android too, and by differentiating themselves from the competition, Samsung hopes that their popularity and reach could extend even further.
The Risk of Going Alone
The main two factors, regarded by industry experts to be potential obstacles, are the fact that there won’t be a large volume of quality applications upon initial launch – something which could deter anybody already using the established Android OS – and the fear people have for change when it comes to using an OS. Historically, Apple’s client base are vehemently impossible to convince that a switch to another OS could be the way forward.
The lack of Apps is something that Samsung appear keen to address, not only offering developers a one year incentive for any submissions to Tizen Store, but also promising that software written in HTML5 coding will work perfectly on the platform. Other platforms such as Mozilla Firefox OS use HTML5 too, which means that cross-platform developing is a distinct possibility, a move that is likely to encourage developers to submit to Tizen.
Using HTML5 is seen as a slightly outdated preference in certain circles, and even software giants Google and Facebook abandoned it when faced with countless performance issues last year, instead switching to native versions of apps.
There have been delays to the release of the Samsung Z in a bid to iron out any problems with the new OS, but the firm has trialled the software in a range of its products with reasonable success so far, such as the GalaxyGear 2 smartwatch, and a few lines of its TVs.