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Smartwatches are Samsung’s secret weapon for escaping Android

Published Mar 19th, 2014 3:09PM EDT
Google Vs. Samsung Smartwatches

Samsung seems to know that it’s stuck using another company’s platform for its smartphones and tablets for the time being since its user base has come to expect Samsung devices to have tight integration with Google apps and services. However, that doesn’t mean Samsung is giving up on its long-term goal of breaking free from Google’s influence. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung sees the burgeoning smartwatch market as the best way to drum up enthusiasm for its Tizen mobile platform and that it’s been courting manufacturers to make Tizen-based smartwatches just as Google has been courting OEMs to make devices based on Android Wear.

To this end, Samsung has also beat Google to the punch by being the first to offer a smartwatch software development kit for interested Tizen developers, a move that it hopes will help it get top-notch apps for its devices before Android gets them. That said, the Journal’s report expresses some skepticism that Samsung will be able to create as robust an app ecosystem for Tizen smartwatches as Google will create for Android Wear smartwatches. The reason is pretty simple: Google already has built up a huge developer community that’s familiar with how Android works and that knows Android is a platform it can use to get its apps noticed.

“Sure, Samsung has put its weight behind Tizen, but at the same time, once a developer community like Android, which is familiar with how Android is built and used, gets involved, that’s a huge existing base of developers,” IBB Consulting Group analyst Jefferson Wang told the Journal.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.