Samsung hopes to breathe new life into Tizen with a major new upgrade

Samsung hopes to breathe new life into its languishing Tizen OS with a major new upgrade, PCWorld reported.

The world's top smartphone vendor announced Tizen 3.0 at its developers conference this week in San Francisco, promising features and capabilities that could make it competitive with current versions of Android and iOS. The new version will be 64-bit capable, like the two dominant platforms, and will run on some new devices powered by 64-bit ARM and x86 processors.

A beta version is due in July, with a full release slated for September, and Samsung plans to support Tizen 3.0 by shipping devices running the OS.

Tizen has been around for a few years, but Samsung has never been able to leverage its massive share of the worldwide smartphone market to find an audience for its mobile operating system. After years of delays, Samsung finally released a Tizen smartphone early last year in the form of the Z1, which sold for $92 in India.

Those phones don't appear to have found much traction, though, and Samsung has since repositioned Tizen as a platform for wearables and other connected gadgets in the IoT. Indeed, Tizen 3.0 will reportedly offer improvements aimed at smart appliances, drones and virtual reality headsets, and a new graphics engine could support TV and gaming use cases.

But there's virtually no evidence of any demand for a third mobile operating system in a world dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS. Alternatives such as Ubuntu and Jolla's Sailfish have struggled mightily to find a mobile audience, and Firefox has thrown in the towel on mobile completely. Meanwhile, Windows is disappearing from mobile despite years of aggressive backing from Microsoft.

Samsung clearly has the smartphone distribution footprint to give Tizen a huge boost in smartphones, but it has yet to demonstrate it can grow an app ecosystem the way Google and Apple have. Tizen may yet find a home in the IoT, but whether it can ever become a player in smartphones and tablets is far from clear.

For more:
- see this PCWorld report

Related articles:
Report: Samsung struggles to overcome hardware-first mindset in mobile
Samsung's Tizen developer conference to focus on Internet of Things, wearables
Samsung releases Tizen-powered Z1 in India for $92, promises more Tizen devices to come
Samsung exec disputes notion of tension with Google over Android

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