Samsung’s Galaxy Gear May Not Need Android Anymore

The global mobile operating system market is currently dominated by Android, but that’s not stopping Samsung from exploring its options.


Android is currently shipping on approximately 80% of mobile devices, so it is generally considered the go-to open source platform, but Samsung has been working on developing another open source platform, Tizen, for several years now.  Samsung has been expected to ship its first Tizen smartphone for some time, but we might end up seeing it on a wearable first.

Samsung is expected to potentially launch a new Galaxy Gear smartwatch and at least one (maybe two) Galaxy S5 variant(s) during Mobile World Congress at their Samsung Unpacked event.  The original Galaxy Gear was launched just a few months ago alongside the Galaxy Note 3, but the second version is on its way and might even be running Tizen.

Samsung is well known for its shotgun method of introducing new devices.  The first Galaxy gear received mixed reviews and was mostly regarded as a commercialized prototype to help the manufacturer feel out the market.  The original Galaxy Gear ran Android, so Samsung is planning on ditching that configuration if the rumor is true.

Since Tizen is open source and Linux based, it does make sense to test it out on something like a smartwatch.  Tizen is very HTML5 focused, so it’s likely Samsung is banking on getting strong developer involvement to bring competition to other manufacturers, specifically Pebble and their newly launched app market.

If successful, this will put multiple quality smartwatches on store shelves, going a long way for legitimizing not only the smartwatch market, but also paving the way for additional wearable products down the road.  Who knows, if a lot of developers start developing HTML5 apps for a Samsung Galaxy Gear with Tizen, then we can likely expect to see Tizen become much more common, although HTML5 apps will also be able to run on Android, but only in a browser, not on the native platform.

Either way, a second Galaxy Gear will definitely represent at least an iterative improvement over its predecessor.  A successful launch will be essential in establishing a solid market for similar devices and we could see Pebble, Samsung, Apple, and HTC, each have a high demand smartwatch on shelves by the time we hit another holiday season.

Source: Fierce Wireless

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