Samsung's new Gears give Tizen a lifeline, but smartphones still a no-show

The launch of the Gear 2s can act as a catalyst for others to come out with products, project manager said

Samsung's decision to run Tizen on its next smartwatches is a step in the right direction for the operating system, but whether the company will also put out smartphones remains to be seen.

Tizen struggled last year as Samsung first promised to put out a smartphone running the OS, but then was unable to deliver. For Roy Sugimura, Tizen Association chairman, it was a difficult 12 months he alluded to during an event on the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"To be honest, last year, I heard at least two times that Tizen was dead ... Every time I said, no, no, no," Sugimura said.

On Sunday, the launch of Samsung's Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo made his belief in the OS more credible. The choice of Tizen over Android is a big vote of confidence and a chance for the fledgling OS to show what it can do. Smartwatches are too important for Samsung to pick Tizen over Android to keep the OS afloat.

"We are thrilled to see products, because when it comes down to it open-source projects are a success when they build something, but a commercial success when they sell something. So seeing that second half of it, from open-source project to actual shipping products is critical," said Brian Warner, who manages Tizen for the Linux Foundation.

Warner thinks the launch of the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo can act as a catalyst for other backers of Tizen to come out with products. The OS has from the start been developed to work well on a number of different devices, including, smartphones, cars, TVs and wearables, he said.

That work may have helped make Tizen a better fit for smartwatches, compared to Android.

"I am not going to bag on Android. Android is Linux and we support all that use Linux. But I will say that one of the advantages Tizen has is that it doesn't use Java. The test devices I have seen are blistering fast," Warner said.

Still, with around 1 billion smartphones shipped last year compared to about 1.9 million smartwatches, getting Tizen onto the former is still imperative. The event on Sunday didn't offer much beyond that Samsung is still working on Tizen-based smartphones.

"We are working on it. We will see that product soon, but I can't verify the exact date," said Kwangyeol Jeong, vice president of Samsung's corporate communications team.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MWCconsumer electronicssmartphonesSamsung ElectronicsMobile OSesmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?