A model poses with installations running on Samsung's Tizen platform during a convention in Las Vegas, last week. / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics is considering expanding the use of its Tizen software in all company devices to cut its heavy reliance on the Google Android platform, a senior Samsung Electronics executive said Monday.
"If you don't have your own ecosystem, then you will have no future. Tizen isn't just a platform developed for use with mobile devices," the executive said asking not to be named as he wasn't authorized to officially speak to the media.
The global platform market is dominated by Google as its software is open-based and the Android creator is financially supporting third-party developers to expand its base. Because Apple has its own ecosystem, its in-house iOS software has continued gaining steady momentum.
The executive said Samsung Electronics was late in developing content and its own ecosystem. However, "Samsung is getting much better," he said.
He pointed out that as the landscape of the technology industry has shifted toward the business-to-business (B2B) arena from the highly-volatile business-to-consumer (B2C) segment, Samsung's Tizen will see a meteoric rise in market share.
Samsung has built a large ecosystem around Tizen with applications from the largest developers. For example, to compete with Android Pay, Samsung wearable devices are allowing users to make payments with Samsung Pay.
"Samsung Tizen allows developers to make corrections, if necessary, and to redistribute updates to others," said the executive.
Because Samsung needs a reference to solidify the Tizen system, the company is using the Indian market as a "litmus test" by steadily releasing cheaper mobile phones.
"Samsung's Z-branded Tizen-powered phones are popular with Indian consumers. During the first quarter of this year, Samsung sold about 64 million phones there. This means that Tizen is proving its competitiveness," said the executive.
Based on the growth, Samsung Electronics identified Internet-enabled watches, cameras, TVs and signs as the next products that will receive Tizen support.
The company invited companies in Russia to promote the Tizen software and the executive said Samsung Electronics plans to hold forums for developers and to launch various campaigns to expand Tizen's base.
He said more incentives and support will be provided to Tizen developers, though the executive declined to specify what incentives will be given to third-party developers.
"The reason why Samsung is testing Tizen's stability and usability focusing on mobile phones and wearable devices is that we need to have a correction period as Samsung is in the process of developing Internet of Things (IoT) driven business systems running on Tizen," the executive said.
Samsung has made some progress in terms of the share that Tizen software has in wearable devices.
IDC, a market research firm, expects the Tizen share in wearable devices to expand 11.3 percent by the end of this year with Apple Watch OS and Android Wear having 49.4 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively.