Chances for a Tizen Smartphone Entry
Nevertheless, cracks may be appearing in Tizen's developer tech armor due to decisions relating to overreach of a scheduled Bada migration. An industry insider refuses cooperation in this area, saying instead "I am not going to be the guy who is asked why is Bada used now instead of EFL?", clearly fearing that Tizen's pristine and future-proof architecture may be infected with legacy Bada logic.
The planned Bada migration to Tizen is a recent policy development and is dynamic in nature. Some fear a future overreach when integrating Bada logic.
Market Trend Analysis
High-ranking corporate policy-makers happily state their optimism of the approaching Tizen smartphone market entry. Samsung executive VP Jong-Deok Choi expresses his assurance that, "We have very high expectations", and "Tizen is very real." But what strategy is behind the policy of strong industrial support for Tizen's rollout? To understand the various corporate strategies involved in shaping Tizen's future, as well as obtaining a realistic interpretation of Tizen's environmental market trends, informed opinions by diverse analysts give added value.
We ask if Samsung could be using Tizen as a hedge against Android's ever-growing market dominance, leading OEMs and chip-makers to play cat and mouse in adapting to the fragmented and controlling Android platform. Analysts do speculate along these lines that since Google acquired Motorola Mobility, Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers would be seeking alternatives to Google's Android. Android could become the preferred platform for Motorola, which likely would put competing manufacturers at a disadvantage.
Analysts at Gartner, IDC and Strategy Analytics are keeping a watchful eye on Tizen and its competitors. Some forecast an increased market share at Android's expense.
Gartner's latest figures put Android's market share at nearly 75% of world-wide smartphone adoption. "With new OSes coming to market, such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla, we expect some market share to be eroded but not enough to question Android's volume leadership", states Gartner principal research analyst Anshul Gupta.
Indeed, as Android adoption has shot sky-high, a number of new mobile platform contenders have lined up to compete. IDC mobile-phone research manager Ramon Llamas and IDC worldwide quarterly mobile-phone tracker senior research analyst Kevin Restivo remark that "This is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the open-source operating system, as multiple platforms, including Mozilla, SailFish, Tizen and Ubuntu are expected to introduce or launch their first smartphones in the coming months."
Strategy Analytics analyst Scott Bicheno continues, "Android will remain the dominant smartphone OS for the next few years, but its share will peak in 2013, while the global share of iOS is unlikely to grow much further so long as Apple maintains its premium-tier-only strategy. While Microsoft's market share will remain small in 2013, it will emerge as the clear third-placed platform by 2017, with BlackBerry leading a chasing pack that will include the nascent smartphone platforms: Tizen, Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Sailfish."
But while Samsung has profited nicely from its widespread Android integrations, some analysts have criticized it for failing to innovate. Using Google's software is leading to a risky dependence on the software giant's technology even after its strategic acquisition of Motorola's mobile division, a direct competitor to Samsung. They reason that Tizen enjoys additional support due to these market developments. "Samsung has grown up and is playing as the big guy, moving away from Android", says Gartner Mobile Devices Research VP analyst Carolina Milanesi.
Kevin Burden, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, agrees that Samsung is motivated to distance itself from Android for this reason but also partly because it wants greater control over the operating system in its phones. "It almost feels like Samsung is trying to set up Tizen as its next OS instead of Android", he says.
Operator and Service Provider Tactics
Vice President of Yandex Labs Juggs Ravalia puts forth the theory that many corporate heavyweights (especially operators) in the Tizen Association are worried about lock down in Android APIs and want to free their technology from difficulties circumventing Google-dictated services like Maps. While standing to benefit strategically from both added development freedom and a Tizen success, operators like NTT Docomo have confirmed that Tizen is a very operator-friendly platform.
Orange (France Telecom)
This bodes well for the multinational operator Orange. According to Frédéric Dufal, Technical Director of Orange Devices and Vice Chairperson of the Tizen Association, the launch of Orange's first Tizen device will occur in select European markets at the end of summer 2013 with more devices coming at later launch dates.
But Orange is not just interested in the traditional smartphone markets, rather "I hope Tizen someday will be delivering great stuff for emerging markets and especially Africa, and Orange is very active there", says Mr Dufal.
In fact, although Orange and France Telecom have strong commercial representation in many African countries due to historical French trade relations, they share a second commercial interest in meeting demand for less-expensive smartphone technology served by competing multinational operators like Telefonica with their Firefox OS handsets. Should either or both such efforts succeed, then mobile users in emerging markets win in the end, but what does this mean for Tizen? Mr Dufal answers, "We hope that in the longer term, we can use Tizen to democratize the access to the Internet and to smartphones in emerging markets especially in Africa and the Middle East, where not everybody can afford the fancy smartphones." His words could resonate with users in expense-reduced hardware markets producing the likes of OLPCs and Raspberry Pis.
Orange has announced a forthcoming Tizen handset offering. Its end of summer rollout will include popular Orange services leveraging Tizen's superb HTML5 support.
Yandex and Big Data
Internet companies like Yandex are turning to Tizen for its help in solving problems with and improving cutting-edge developments like navigation, assisted transportation searches and in vehicle infotainment (IVI.) According to Vice President of Yandex Labs Juggs Ravalia, Tizen could serve as a platform for a new generation of services only possible through the innovative combination of big data and free software APIs like those provided by Tizen.
Automobile Industry and IVI
It's no surprise that Yandex is working on transportation-relevant network services. According to Senior Technical Specialist for infotainment systems at Jaguar Land Rover Matt Jones, "uptake of HTML5 in vehicles is going through the roof", and that "Linux is running in over a million vehicles already." Mr Jones goes on to state the utility and consumer thirst for rich IVI systems, for which Tizen is a perfect platform match.
Michael Schloh von Bennewitz is a computer scientist and expert on network software engineering.
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