Smartphones based on Tizen OS developed by Asian firms set for release
Smartphones running on the Tizen operating system, developed by mobile phone operators in Japan, South Korea and China, are expected to be unveiled as early as February to rival those devices based on Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems which together account for over 90 percent of the world market.
The Asian firms, including NTT Docomo Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., want to forge a "third force" to hold out against the iOS and Android operating systems and ensure that their smartphone business will be a long-term key revenue stream.
According to sources close to the companies concerned, there will be an announcement on the release of Samsung smartphones based on the Tizen OS in time for the "Mobile World Congress 2014," a mobile phone trade fair to be held in Barcelona, Spain, in February. There will also be an announcement on the opening of "stores" for apps that can run on the Tizen OS, the sources said. Samsung will put Tizen-based smartphones on the market as early as this spring, the sources said. Japan's NTT Docomo intends to further improve the operability and other functions of the new operating system and release their Tizen-based smartphones by the end of this year.
According to International Data Corp. (IDC), a U.S. market research firm, Android had an 81 percent share of the global smartphone market in the July-September quarter of 2013, followed by iOS at 12.9 percent. The details of the specifications for those popular operating systems are fixed by Google and Apple, respectively, so that makers of terminals and mobile phone carriers cannot freely improve them on their own.
The Tizen OS has no such constraints and makers and mobile phone operators can adjust the OS to their terminals. It is also easy to make apps that run on the OS. Furthermore, the participating firms share the cost of development to reduce the financial burden on each of them so they can cut the prices of their smartphones, sources say. The Tizen OS is expected to be installed in mainstream models catering to advanced countries as well as in low-priced models for emerging countries.
Tizen initially began to be developed mainly by Samsung and Intel Corp. of the U.S. NTT Docomo, Fujitsu Ltd. and other Japanese firms as well as China's Huawei Technologies Co. subsequently joined the project to develop the OS. NTT Docomo chairs the consortium of companies tasked with promoting business projects using the Tizen OS. NTT Docomo had initially planned to release Tizen-based smartphones by the end of 2013, but the plan has been put off due to a delay in development.
January 08, 2014(Mainichi Japan)