Will Google's rollout of Pixel lead to a broader use of Tizen by Samsung?

Will Google's rollout of Pixel lead to a broader use of Tizen by Samsung?
The Google Pixel and its larger-sized sibling represent something that Samsung has been afraid of for some time. Worries that Google would enter the business of designing Android flavored smartphones played a big part in Samsung's development of Tizen OS. But Google's fear that Samsung would drop Android for Tizen also weighed on Google's mind, which made the Nexus program more of a showcase for Android manufacturers. In other words, Google was afraid of the consequences it might face if it developed its own Android phones.

Yes, this is the smartphone version of the Cold War. And from 2012-2013, the release of the Samsung Galaxy S III made Samsung the most important and well known Android handset manufacturer. In fact, it might be fair to say that at the time, Samsung's hardware was considered more important for the success of Android than Google's development of Android itself. Samsung was following up on the strong popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S II with a handset that featured an even bigger screen, faster chipset and better camera.

The failure of HTC and LG to market their flagship phones successfully made Samsung the first name that consumers thought of when Android came to mind. The South Korean manufacturer was beginning to consider itself the sole reason for the success of the platform. Thinking that Google needed it more than they needed Google, Samsung made the first move by introducing Tizen OS.

While Samsung has subsequently limited Tizen to certain niche products like the entry-level Samsung Z2 handset released two months ago, and the Samsung Gear S smartwatch line, there has been speculation about a high-end Z9 handset to be powered by Tizen.

With Pixel, Google feels that the time is now right to compete directly against Apple and Samsung. Some of the new features on the Pixel will remain exclusive to the new line. Other features, like Google Assistant, are debuting on Pixel first. Samsung plans to fight back exactly the way it intended to in the first place, by using Tizen. To do that, it will need to build a high-end Tizen driven phone. That could be what the Z9 is all about.

At this stage, it is way too early to expect Samsung and Google to file for divorce. But it is something to think about as Google starts collecting pre-orders for the Pixel and Pixel XL.



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17 Comments

1. Fona13A unregistered

I just want more competition. I'm getting sick of there being only two successful OS's while everything else suffers from either poor advertising, poor support, or just lack of developer interest. Tizen is snappy, easy to use, with an albeit acquired taste in terms of visuals. Hope it sticks around for the long run.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7605; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Although competition is good. Tizen has one major problem. It's app ecosystem is almost non existent compared to Androids ecosystem.

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Tizen can run android's apps... but it won't run smoothly for most apps (because tizen phone has s**tty specs)

6. Fona13A unregistered

OK. I got that much. Doesn't make me think less of it.

11. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have a gear s. There no worthwhile apps. I just use it for notification. I do like the large 2" OLED screen though. Fona13A, i know you want more competitions but are you willing to back it up with your money!?

17. Fona13A unregistered

Well my money wouldn't be the only factor. Samsung is approaching Tizen in a careful but smart way, unlike Nokia who insisted that they put all their chips on Windows Phone. See, Samsung is keeping American released Tizen hardware on watches while releasing budget Tizen in developing countries. This is them acknowledging Androids presence to determine which hardware level Tizen will succeed the most.

2. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Funny, the Galaxy S3 was the thing that's kept me away from Samsung since I owned it. Of course with the way things are going now, I may have to give them a second look.

7. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I don't see Google turning down Samsung if they want to use the Google assistant over S-voice. Heck, Google probably wouldn't turn down HTC or Huawei. Rather than just releasing it in the stock Android ROM, Samsung probably has to ask and deal for the new pixel features now. Google might volunteer to handle the software engineering themselves to keep their Pixel work pure. As for Tizen. Does Intel still have a stake in it? Either way, Samsung should probably invest billions into transforming Tizen or rebuilding it. Even if they don't use it right away it wouldn't hurt to start now. I would talk to Microsoft though, they need a new Windows Phone and a Samsung\microsoft OS project would have the necessary traction to catch on, something WP and Tizen never did. Intel\Samsung\ and MS mobile OS. Might work.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31662; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I love Tizen on the Gear line. Hope the S3 launches soon, I need that Frontier.

9. Vickytan

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

I use Samsung's flagships, but tried tizen once and it was actually quite smooth and fast, just the low spec hardware and lack of apps are not doing so well to me.

10. launernoon

Posts: 81; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Using the gear s2 now, my favorite watch so far! I won't mind trying tizen phones. :)

12. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Ah yes, Like Google use of the Nexus was why Samsung developed Bada, Google's purchase of Motorola was going to push Samsung away from the Galaxy line, and now Google re-branding the Nexus line will be the end of Sammy and Android. Come on now, stop it. The Samsung handset division has recovered nicely from the drop in sales they had a couple of years ago when they STILL had more profit then probably the next three Android competitors combined. Samsung developing Tizen is smart. Moving away from Android wouldn't be. I like the Nexus line better than anything Sammy has, but isn't the point. Would you move from a multi-billion dollar product to an unproven one just because you were worried a software/ad based company re-branded a niche device? Well, Samsung ain't stupid either.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Maybe not, but they can start producing Tizen phones right alongside their Android phones and if they gain traction, then leave Android. Tizen would be pure profit for Samsung, it's their own OS on their own hardware. What's Google going to do to stop them now, they finally bit the bullet and started actually trying to compete with their OEMs. That rumored 3 year contract for HTC manufacturing the Nexus (now Pixel) devices makes sense. It's not going to be a new OEM producing them in partnership with Google every year or two and both companies sharing the spotlight, it's going to be Google and only Google in the spotlight. And one thing OEMs could always count on was that because it was stock Android the Nexus devices ran, they knew some people would always come to them because stock always had less features. But with this Pixel launcher skin, that might not be the case any longer. So there will be more direct competition between google and their OEMs. And considering everyone knows the Google name, and that's how they're marketing them, it's possible people would be more likely to give them a shot than they would a Nexus device by (OEM's name here).

14. Fire5

Posts: 315; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

Android was famous before the Galaxy existed, HTC was the one who brought the big screens in Android was not Samsung, HTC smartphone that Samsung had better. The problem with HTC was his pathetic battery, htc sensen not work like this. But Android can survive without Samsung. I do not think that Samsung can compete with Google in software.

15. Syracuse

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Tizen is an unsuccessful OS. Samsung will just have to spread its cheeks.

16. Fona13A unregistered

Like your mom does on a daily basis?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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