Today the Tizen Association, led by Intel and Samsung Electronics, launched a partner program aimed at broadening support of the Tizen Platform across a more diverse set of connected device manufacturers, operators, application developers and independent software vendors (ISVs).
The Tizen Association is an industry consortium that supports the development of an open source software platform and operating system - Tizen. Tizen supports a wide range of connected devices - from mobiles to automobiles and cameras. The program launched today at the Tizen Developer Summit in Seoul, Korea with 36 new members. Each of the new members has the potential to join relevant Tizen Association Working Groups and to participate in Tizen Association meetings, giving them more insight and potential input into the development of the Tizen Operating System (OS).
The new members include HERE (Nokia), KONAMI, McAfee, Panasonic, eBay and Sharp. Nokia announced on Monday it will join the program to put map-related functionality onto Tizen devices. The tens of new participants join previous members including mobile operators such as SK Telecom, NTT Docomo, Vodafone and Orange, and device vendors Huawei and Fujitsu.
"The Tizen OS is attracting support from all segments of the connected device ecosystem, with manufacturers, operators, developers and ISVs joining to add their voice and expertise to the development of this open and collaborative platform," said Ryoichi Sugimura, a Tizen Association Board Member from NTT DOCOMO. "One of the biggest benefits of Tizen to partners is the absence of application or feature mandates, allowing the OS to be customized based on what it is best for the end customer. This allows operators and some device manufacturers to select the provider of features and services that makes the most sense given the type of device, the location of the customer and the most popular use cases for that device. By democratizing this portion of the product development, Tizen is driving increased innovation and competition in the industry."
It was also confirmed that the Tizen alliance is cooperating with major auto makers, such as Toyota, Jaguar and Landrover. Samsung has already applied Tizen to digital cameras (NX300 and NX300M), and is planning to apply it to household appliances as well as smartphones and TVs. The Korean electronics giant is expected to break away from dependency on Android by pitting Tizen against Android, and speed up the process of gaining independence in the platform ecosystem in the long run.
During the event, Choi Jong-deok, co-chair of the Tizen Technical Steering Group and VP of Samsung Electronics showcased the developer version Tizen phone. He demonstrated 60-frames-per-second 3D game. But he did not give a release time frame for the device. Samsung CEO JK Shin earlier this year told Bloomberg that a high-end Tizen-based smartphone would arrive by August. However, the release date was later pushed back to the fourth quarter, and the handset has still yet to arrive. Samsung execs have also said they may launch a smart TV running Tizen in 2014.
Mobile carriers like KT, Orange and NTT Docomo said they need a new OS like Tizen to realize a mobile open ecosystem, and reconfirmed they will to support the Tizen camp.
It seems that the Tizen alliance is moving in parallel to Google's Android. Android is expanding its territory beyond the mobile into TVs, automobiles and home appliances, especially with the release of the, Android 4.4 KitKat, which requires less resource than existing Android and can be used on devices with lower hardware specifications. KitKat coincides with the direction of Tizen 3.0 development.