Samsung could be looking at a Tizen-powered ecosystem with its new $9 mn Incentive Program

Tizen has slowly been making its way onto more Samsung devices, almost building itself into an ecosystem of sorts.

Just today, Samsung announced a $9 million giveaway to app developers via its new Tizen Mobile App Incentive Program, giving out $10,000 every month to app developers who feature on their top 100 monthly list.

If you use Samsung's Smart TVs, smartwatches and other IoT devices, you may not necessarily notice that the software that runs on them is Tizen. Yes, Tizen has slowly been making its way onto more Samsung devices, almost building itself into an ecosystem of sorts. Did I just use the word 'ecosystem'?

Android Wear

Yes. The only space where Samsung has yet to make it big with Tizen OS is its Android-dominated smartphone range. Samsung has a long been a supporter of Android and seen plenty of success with it, but with a plateauing smartphone race where there is little or no innovation taking place in Android (and iOS), may be, just may be it's time for something new and better.

Samsung could be looking at a Tizen-powered ecosystem with its new  mn Incentive Program

Image: Samsung

Call me crazy, but Samsung has let go of Google's Android Wear platform after being one of the early adopters of the platform following Motorola and LG. Today's the Gear S is a success only because of its Tizen innards. The thing with jumping on to an existing platform is that everyone else is on it as well and with that comes the same limitations to do with performance, battery life and hardware. It happened with Android Wear and Samsung seems to have made better progress with Tizen than with limiting itself to Android Wear.

Connecting the puzzle

Apple and Android (now even without its OEM partners) are now the dominant entities in the smartphone race with Android being the leader in sales. Both have their well laid out ecosystems which also happen to plug into cars as well. But with Google beginning to manufacturer is own "picture perfect" Android smartphones (yep they are flawless), it may be time for Samsung, the leader, to look elsewhere to make its offerings stand out.

I earlier used the word 'ecosystem'. And right now Samsung seems to be gunning for just that. Samsung just announced an Incentive Program for developing Tizen apps, that should get plenty of apps on board considering the high stakes. Earlier this week Samsung announced that it would buy Harman for $8 billion in what would be Korea's biggest overseas deal (it's a bold step). And in the past week we also heard about Samsung working on its new AI assistant service for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship. Wind back to October, and Samsung also acquired Viv a rather impressive assistant that can easily counter Google Assistant and Siri. Viv was built by the same team that worked on Apple's Siri.

Image: galaxyclub.nl

Image: galaxyclub.nl

With folding smartphone with foldable display (Project Valley), Samsung could launch two versions of the same one that is powered by Tizen with Viv on board and another that is powered by Android. This makes more sense as Android may not be as flexible as the device and that Samsung's modifications considering the new form factor may be one too many.

A glance into a Tizen future

So with a folding smartphone on the horizon, Samsung could close the loop in a couple of years by simply introducing a Tizen powered smartphone with Tizen apps that is ready to latch on to its Android Auto-like auto app and can even plug into IoT appliances, smart TVs, smartwatches and a lot more. Samsung could be building an ecosystem, that just needs a Tizen-powered smartphone to complete the puzzle. At this very moment, especially when it comes to smartphones, the push for Tizen is necessary for Samsung to keep its momentum going.

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