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ITM540 Individual Assignment

3: Tizen OS
Tizen OS is a Linux-based operating system developed by Samsung. It is
developed to give users a consistent experience across many devices such smart
phones, tablets, in-vehicle entertainment, smart TVs, smart cameras, wearable
computing, media players, printers and smart home appliances. Tizen OS is
publicized as an open source OS and even the third iteration of the OS (Tizen 3.0)
uses public governance process to develop the whole OS.
The history of Tizen OSs development is a rather convoluted one, involving
numerous organizations and predecessors. The history of Tizen OS is
summarized in the following figure:


The development of Tizen OS by Samsung started out as Bada OS in 2006. The
main rationale behind this development is to reduce Samsungs dependency
towards Googles Android. Despite that Android, being an open source OS, does
not require phone manufacturers to pay Google a single cent, Microsoft,

however, with its extensive patent portfolios, claimed that all Android phones are
infringing upon their patent1. Samsung alone had paid $1bn in 2013 to Microsoft
through a patent licensing deal2. Similarly, other phone manufacturers, such as
HTC was also forced to pay $5 for each android device sold to Microsoft. Using an
open source software doesnt make one invulnerable to patent litigations,
however, developing its own in house operating system gives Samsung more
control over the process and the risks involved.
Samsung has stated clearly, in their Tizen website that they have no intention of
abandoning other OSes in favour of the Tizen OS. Instead, Samsung believes
Tizens efficiency will shine the best with everyday devices that has lower
computing capabilities, showing Samsungs faith in the future of the Internet of


Samsung Z1 Released in India

o Samsungs first Tizen-based phone
o The release has been delayed since the planned release of 2012
o The specs are well received, however with a lack of an ecosystem, it
serves only as a serviceable feature phone.
Tizen 3.0 Released
Samsung NX500 Camera Released (tizen-based)
o Very well reviewed

4.1.1 Open Source
The open source nature of the operating system means that everyone with
access to internet can review and contribute to the development of Tizen. The
Open Source community has also been proven many times to be an invaluable
source of knowledge and expertise, allowing many of the worlds most popular
software such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chromium, Android, or LibreOffice and
many more to become more than a usable software but also provides value to
the public3.

1 http://www.theverge.com/2011/09/28/microsoft-samsung-cross-license-patents

2 http://www.fosspatents.com/2014/10/samsung-paid-microsoft-over-1billion.html
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software_development#Opensource_software_development_model

4.1.2 Industry Backing

Tizen OS is the culmination of many years of development by various companies,
as can be seen from Figure 1. Samsung has started using Tizen, first with their
wearable devices and now their cameras and home appliance 4.
4.1.3 Made for low spec devices
The Tizen OS is designed to run in wearable devices and home appliances, which
have a much more limited computing resources. Therefore, would have the
ability to achieve the same performance with less hardware cost.

4.2.1 Unclear Open Source status
Tizen OS itself uses mostly open source components, with clear open source
licenses. However, the Software Development Kit (SDK) which the developers
have to use to develop applications for the Tizen OS is proprietary and closed
source. Moreover, the license agreement in one of the OSs component, Flora,
has also yet to receive approval from the Open Source Initiative as an Open
Source license5.
4.2.2 Lack of ecosystem development for Tizen
The recently released Samsung Z1 have barely any of Samsungs apps that was
by default included in their Android counterparts, such as Milk, Samsungs own
music streaming service, wont work on Tizen 6. For some reason, these
applications and many other features that was previewed in 2013, where the
Samsung Z was previewed, has been removed by Samsung. In a sense, the
delayed release of the phone did not make it better, but worse. This does not
contribute very well towards Samsungs credibility. Considering, another factor to
consider whether or not to develop in an ecosystem, is the sustainability of the
system. And a companys credibility is a significant deciding factor.
4.2.3 Lack of any innovative or a defining feature
Many operating systems would have one or a suite of features which would
appeal to the masses. Windows, introduced a brand new user interface. Android,
has Material design which ensures consistent experience between all devices
and an unbeatable integration of services (Google Now, Drive, Keep, Hangouts,
Play Books, etc). Apple has Siri and great integration with its other Apple
products. However, Tizen is still lacking in this respect, developers or users alike
have no reason to choose Tizen over any other OS in the market.

4 https://wiki.tizen.org/wiki/Devices
5 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/samsung/10869294/Samsung-launchesfirst-open-source-Tizen-smartphone.html
6 http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/samsung-z1-review-the-first-tizensmartphone-still-feels-like-plan-b/

4.3.1 Focus on the Wearable Market
Samsungs wearable devices are some of the first that used the Tizen OS and
that has been very well received. If Samsung were to spend resources on Tizen,
it should focus on making use of it in devices other than the mobile device.
The upcoming Blocks smartwatch is one of the most anticipated smartwatch in
the tech world. Blocks have made a recent move to use the Tizen OS. This would
be a great opportunity for Tizen to shine. To give developers a great reason to
develop for it.
4.3.2 Tizen OS for Home Appliances
Considering that even the vehicle entertainment market has also been
addressed by Google, Apple and Microsoft. Tizen can and should definitely be the
main choice of OS for Samsungs products, in order to provide their users a
consistent user experience. Moreover, a common OS for all their products would
increase development efficiency. Therefore, they should leverage that to their
4.3.3 Spend Resources on Addressable Issues
Most of Samsungs mobile phone revenue comes from Android-touting phones.
Meanwhile, the biggest complaint of most of the users are its Android skin,
Touchwiz. If Samsung really wants the best for the customers, they would make
use of their resources in making Touchwiz less cumbersome instead, rather than
developing a brand new OS that might or might not catch up. If Microsofts
license deal is the problem, consider that the patent grant will not last forever, or
even with the right lobbying strategy, they would be able to come up with a
better deal.
Samsung is definitely in the position to create an OS that can compete with other
major operating systems in the market. However, they should at least create one
compelling reason for users and developers alike to adopt their OS.

Any other mobile operating system in the market is practically a threat to Tizen.
The only path to success of an OS is wide adoption to leverage network effects.
And with the late entry and lacklustre PR, it is bound to fail playing catch up. See
later section for competition.
4.4.1 Low-end Market Competition
The lightest version of Tizen (for Mobile) requires 256MB of RAM to run on a
device7. Samsungs intention is to target to the low-end smartphone market,
however, Android has also launched a project, namely, Android One, in which
they work together with the vendors (telco and hardware) to release ultra-low
priced smartphones with focus on developing countries 8. Android One has been
launched in three different countries, making available more than five phone
7 http://www.sammobile.com/2013/11/12/tizen-lite-will-target-devices-with-aslow-as-256mb-of-ram/
8 http://www.android.com/one/

models that are certified by Google. Moreover, it already has the backing of
strong global hardware suppliers and telco networks (i.e. Acer, HTC, Mediatek,
Panasonic and many others). Although the minimum memory requirement for
Android One is still 1GB, the phone price is what makes it competitive at $100,
only ~$25 more expensive than the Samsung Z1 with a much better ecosystem
and specs, its hard to beat9.
In the case that Samsungs intention is to develop the OS for IoT devices, the
worlds most popular operating system for IoT that has been used by researchers
and enthusiasts all around the world, requires mere Kilobytes of RAM 10. Namely,
Contiki, also based on Linux, has been around for more than a decade and is now
being used in many popular IoT devices. It was built to be used on devices as
small as dust (whats known as smart dust), where resources are not measured
in mega, or kilobytes, but by bytes. In terms of efficiency and adoption alone,
Contiki beats Tizen hands down. And with all the expertise and knowledge
accumulated over time, it would be very difficult for Tizen to catch up on Contiki
in terms of memory footprint.

The first demo of Tizen on a mobile phone device was done in the worlds biggest
tech show, the 2013 Consumer Electric Show. Many technology enthusiasts were
rightly disappointed at the demo. With a lack of anything special and a constant
stutter, even a year later, Tizen OS was still referred to as ill-fated by the Wall
Street Journal11.
The recent release of Samsung Z1, the Tizen-based smartphone has not been
very well received. After years of delays, the whole project was only seen as
playing catch up with Android. A comprehensive review of the Galaxy Z1 from
Ars Technica, one of the most respected online media for long-form technology
coverage, listed nothing to be a good point for the device. I personally doubt its
relevance in the mobile phone operating system world. It was even titled: The
first Tizen smartphone isnt an Android killerits a bad Android clone


Android One
o 9 Phone models released in 3 countries, ~$100
o Google defined phone specifications

9 http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/android-one-launches-in-india-whygoogles-latest-project-is-a-big-deal-233891.html
10 http://www.contiki-os.org/
11 http://www.wsj.com/articles/samsung-postpones-launch-of-tizen-smartphonein-russia-1406531740

Automatic updates from Google for 2 years provided to mitigate

issues of vendors not providing security updates after initial release
o Focused on developing countries and customers buying their phone
for the first time
o Free for all devices with screen sizes below 9 inches
o Still the best choice for many corporate customer
Firefox OS
o Firefox, being a non-profit organization have a great image, with the
mission to promote openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web
o 16 phone models in 37 countries
o Most mobile standard apps available in the marketplace
o Low spec friendly (128MB of RAM minimum)


Android Auto
o 28 Auto-makers in alliance (Hyundai included)
o Announced in June 2014
Apple Carplay
o 34 Auto-makers in alliance (Hyundai included, again?)
o Announced in June 2013

6.3 IOT

Contiki OS
o Memory footpring (RAM) measured in KB
o Designed to run in ultra low power environment
o Have been the first choice for makers and researchers for almost a
Raspberry Pi (hardware/ecosystem)
o Worlds most popular series of credit card-sized single-board
computers sold at very affordable prices.
o Comes with Raspbian or Windows (free)
Since its practically a computer, any other OSes can be
installed in it.
o Numerous extensions are available on the market
Windows on Devices
o Free
o Cloud service
o Launched the Windows Developer Program for IoT


Tizen OS has been in development for almost a decade (counting Bada OS),
however, the ecosystem is still widely underdeveloped and the OS itself brings
nothing new to the table. Right now Tizen is very much still trying to catch up to
the competition. However, thats not necessarily the only thing they should do.


Samsung have a very well regarded line of high definition television which would
definitely benefit from Tizen OS. They even have released their first Smart TV
which is powered by Tizen. However, they should focus on leveraging their
position and using Tizen OS for their current (non-smartphone) products.
Bringing into market a line of smart appliances with consistent experience and
marketplace would definitely attract customers better.

7.2 DONT


The Tizen OS, being built with open governance process, assumes that
developers would just flock and develop the OS. Many well-meaning developers
might do that, however, Samsung needs to give Tizen a face, a mission. A well
versed mission statement, with clear goals would not only give Tizen a better
image, but also a better direction in its future developments.