[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics is seeking to take leadership in the home appliance operating system field after a failure to squeeze into the mobile sector, dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.
In 2012, Samsung unveiled Tizen with the ambition to take share from the mobile OS market and expand its presence in the software market. But the system has just 1 percent of global market share. Only some low-end smartphones sold in India are Tizen-powered.
Seeing little chance in the mobile OS sector, the tech giant has recently shifted the direction of Tizen development to home appliances.
“Tizen’s performance in the mobile ecosystem is close to a failure. However, it still has a chance in the Internet of Things -- mainly in home appliances -- because there is no dominant player in the market yet,” said Seo Ki-man, a researcher at LG Economics Research Institute.
Samsung has already unveiled the Tizen-based Gear series of smartwatches, premium home appliances such as the Smart TV, refrigerators and washing machines, as well as a connected car solution.
Samsung will reportedly unveil Tizen optimized for home appliances in the coming months, as an OS for appliances does not need the high performance for smartphones.
“Samsung plans to unveil Tizen for home appliances -- not for smartphones -- by the end of this year or early next year,” a source familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald.
If a new version of Tizen is developed, it will be applied for all of Samsung’s home appliances, including small devices such as vacuum cleaners, the source said.
This is in line with the tech giant’s latest announcement that it will apply wireless internet to all of its products with the aim of connecting the devices through Tizen.
“We are increasing the product lines based on the Tizen platform. And devices (including those made by different brands) are able to be interconnected even when they have different operating systems,” a Samsung official said.
Citing the connection between Galaxy’s Android and Gear S3’s Tizen, the official said more devices will be connected through wireless internet or Bluetooth.
Seo added, “Samsung may have an edge in the appliances area because it has experience in both mobile platforms and home appliances, although it still has to compete with other global tech firms such as Google, Apple, Intel and Qualcomm.”
Meanwhile, a global gathering of Tizen developers was held in India on Friday. It was unknown whether they discussed the exact time line for releasing Tizen-operated home appliances.
By Shin Ji-hye/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)