Last Friday in an interview with Bloomberg, Samsung gave us more details about their upcoming Tizen smartphone. Surprisingly or not Samsung said that “the Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category”. For those who don’t know, Tizen is an open source project formed from Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo and Samsung’s Bada.
Now there are three things that ring a bell and happened last week: at first it was Andy Rubin departure, then Galaxy S4 event and the last one was this interview with the executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business Lee Young Hee.
Before getting more into this discussion I should also mention that some analysts think that Samsung is planning a “great OS escape” in 1-2 years. It could be true, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen anytime soon. But in the event this would happen, what would Android do ?
At first I don’t think Android will suffer huge damages if Samsung would announce that they will stop using Android and focus on using their own Tizen OS. Sure, it will be a breaking news story, but although Samsung holds a big chunk of Android market share, I believe Android can still live without Samsung. That’s because the entire ecosystem is very strong. Partners like Sony, HTC, LG and even ASUS and ACER can step up and take Samsung’s place. The first three partners already started to release competitive Android devices that are on par with Samsung devices.
If this wasn’t enough there’s also Nexus program which was made just to excite customers and show OEM’s that smartphones and tablets could be made at affordable prices. The success of Nexus program exceed Google’s expectations and there would be some accessories coming this year (including Google Glass).
Looking inside, Android has hundreds of thousands of apps and even if not all of them are safe and great there are a part of one of the biggest mobile OS. And without apps Android is nothing. Besides this, now that Sundar Pichai stepped in as the new head, Chrome will become (one way or another) Android’s best friend. Some think Chrome and Android will be merged into ChromeOS or whatever the name will be. And also there’s Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie which should be announced during Google I/O 2013 and I’m sure it would bring a big list of improvements.
Right now Samsung is clearly starting to see beyond Android. They are trying to invest a lot of money into Smart software features and into marketing their products, which is a great thing. With these Smart features, they are trying to go beyond Android and see whether or not users will like their idea. In a way or another Samsung is taking steps away from Android, by adding all these Smart things Android didn’t had. In the past users mocked Samsung and didn’t like their UI because it was sluggish and ugly. Once Android 4.0 came out Samsung started to change the TouchWiz UI and gave it another taste. A good taste.
Now that we have Galaxy S4 announced, there’s another problem: the Galaxy S4 doesn’t differentiate a lot from its predecessor, Galaxy S III. Personally, I don’t know if it’s worth making this upgrade just to wave your hands in front of your phone or to have a slight bigger full HD display. The good news is that Samsung announced that some of Galaxy S4 software features will also come on Galaxy S III devices. Even so, I’m sure there will be millions of customers that would buy it just because it’s the newest yet most powerful smartphone right now.