Could Samsung do just as well with Tizen as they do with Android?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
In this very moment, as it stands, we have a monster in our midst. A big, beautiful, powerful monster. It goes by the name of Android, and while we have other monsters in our midst, none of them are quite the size that Android is at this very moment. Android's current marketshare across the world stands at 81%, with iOS following in second at 12.9%, Windows Phone with 3.6%, BlackBerry with 1.7% and other platforms covering 0.6%. It might not really seem like Android has such a large influence, especially if you're located in the U.S., but since this marketshare is on a worldwide scale it comes as no surprise that the platform with one of the largest application markets and some of the lowest priced devices is doing so much better over the competition.
And you can't forget the fact that there are plenty of manufacturers that serve as hosts to the Android platform, such as HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, and the granddaddy of them all, Samsung. With so much competition going on within this one mobile platform alone, you have to wonder exactly what makes one company so much more successful than the others. After all, if they're running on the same platform, how much different can one device be from the next?
That's part of the beauty of Android, I suppose. As an open sourced platform that's easily customizable with skins and features, it seems like it's a hit or miss deal on which phones will become popular and which ones won't. Some manufacturers will come up with completely useless features that nobody will want while others will come up with some good, innovative ideas. Or, if you're like Samsung, you could just be the manufacturer that will come up with phones that exhibit both characteristics. In fact, they pretty much make phones that display all characteristics of a smartphone. They have so many phones on the market, it's almost harder to find one you don't like rather than one that you do. It might seem like a ridiculous model, but clearly it has worked out very well for them as they're the undisputed king of Android, with some of their phones outselling the popular Apple iPhone in some instances.
The question now is, is Samsung successful because of Android or is Android successful because of Samsung? It seems like a silly question to ask, given that just about anybody could make an Android phone if they wanted and if Samsung wasn't in the picture, somebody else would be on top. Whether they would be as successful as Samsung currently is, it's hard to tell. But given that Samsung is the best player on the team as it currently stands, it's not such a surprise to hear that the manufacturer is thinking about flying solo.
It has worked out in so many situations before. When Justin Timberlake split from N*SYNC, when Beyonce left Destiny's Child, when Michael Jackson was no longer part of the Jackson 5, it all turned out rather well for them. In some cases, many would argue that the artist became better after going solo. So perhaps it could work in more than just the music industry; perhaps Samsung would be able to make an even bigger name for themself by pushing forward with their back-up plan of a mobile platform, Tizen. Given that Tizen just earned a slew of new supporting companies - 36 to be exact - I'm beginning to think it's not going to be too much longer before we see Samsung branch off from the Samsung-Google relationship.
But just as there is room to grow by going solo, we've also seen the not-so-succesful results of such a route. Just look at every member of the British pop group Spice Girls. I'm not saying that that is how Tizen would end up, but it's entirely possible that you can be a part of what's considered to be "the top" and not be able to make it on your own without the others that helped get you there (in this case, Google with Android).
I, for one, am interested in Tizen. I'm interested because I look at those marketshare numbers and I'm not only disappointed by how lop-sided it is, but there's also just not many options. There are only four viable ones, and although I wish the best of luck to all of the new platforms like Firefox OS and now Sailfish OS, without either making much effort to break through outside of their prospective markets they're never going to be considered viable options. But with Tizen, I have a feeling that Samsung would try to permeate more than just their home market. There is such a demand for Samsung devices all over the world as it is. I think if anybody is going to get any headway in this tough market with a new platform, it's going to be Samsung.
What are your thoughts about Tizen, readers? Do you have high hopes for Samsung to take on a solo career in the future, or do you prefer that they stay partnered up with Android? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!