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Samsung’s strategy to slip away from Android: Follow in Palm and BlackBerry’s footsteps

Published Aug 6th, 2013 10:30AM EDT

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Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A smartphone vendor plans to launch a new smartphone platform that isn’t really just a smartphone platform, but rather an operating system that will some day power everything from phones and tablets to cameras and cars. Palm and HP tried it with webOS, and that didn’t work out very well. BlackBerry is currently trying it with BlackBerry 10, and its U.S. market share plummeted to just 1.1% last quarter. But that won’t stop Samsung, which is next in line to launch a new OS that it hopes will decrease its dependence on Android and someday power anything and everything that connects to the Internet.

In a recent interview, Samsung co-CEO J.K. Shin called Tizen the “simple alternative to Android” and he said that while Tizen will initially launch on smartphones and tablets, he thinks it will soon power cars, computers, cameras and a wide range of other devices as well.

“There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks,” Shin told CNET. “Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products.”

At least Shin didn’t say anything about printers.

Samsung has no plans to dump Android as its core operating system anytime soon, of course, but the consumer electronics giant is now beginning to take steps in an effort to launch its own platform. And if Tizen adoption someday explodes and allows Samsung to shift most or even all of its efforts to an in-house platform, the company certainly wouldn’t shed any tears over ditching its dependence on Google.

The first Samsung smartphone powered by Tizen is expected to debut before the end of the year.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.