In the mobile world, Android is one of the dominating forces. So it’s always refreshing to see some new potential competition join the game which, as CNET reported, is just what happened this week at the Mobile World Congress. Pioneered by Samsung and Intel, Tizen is an open operating system which could draw in some major attention from mobile carriers because they are invited to play around with it and customize it for themselves, something most other OS’s don’t allow.
The reason carriers are so interested in having control over a phone’s operating system? It will allow them to maintain more of the interaction between its subscribers and the apps that they download. We can only imagine this would result in them being able to either put an end to, or take a cut of, the money that some of the bigger companies make via their apps. (Of the two, the latter makes more sense.)
Speaking of apps, though the Tizen Association won’t disclose numbers, it said that, by launch, there will be thousands of apps ready for users to download. No word yet on which apps will be available, but a good guess is that the top dogs – Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, for example – will likely be among them.
Samsung will release the first line of Tizen-operated phones, with Huawei models following suit shortly after. Europe-based Orange and Japan-based NTT Docomo are the first two carriers that have agreed to offer phones operating on Tizen, with the latter being the first to launch with Samsung models this summer. Orange says that by next year, they’ll introduce the phones to emerging markets, which could be a tough sell; the first Tizen phones will likely be priced in the $300 range, whereas phones in emerging markets typically fall in the $100 range.
We’re looking to see what the introduction of this operating system will do to the mobile market. No word yet whether it will make its way to the U.S. market; it will probably depend on how well it fares overseas.