Why Tizen? What does it mean for bada?

Tizen is a new project to develop an open-source, Linux-based mobile platform. That’s all great, but why do we keep on hearing about Tizen together with bada? At CES 2012, Tae-Jin Kang, Senior Vice President of Samsung’s Contents Planning Team, in an interview referred to by Forbes, said, “We have an effort that will merge bada and Tizen”.

Tizen with bada and Linux

Tizen seems to be heavily based on bada, but with a Linux kernel instead.

Tizen incorporates many components from bada
According to the Forbes report, Tizenwill support the same SDK as bada, meaning that apps built for bada (1.0 , 1.2 and 2.0) will be fully compatible on the Tizen platform. Once Tizen is up and running, app developers may easily compile an app for both Tizen and bada using the same SDK.

So why not just keep bada? A browse around the internet doesn’t reveal anything concrete about why Samsung is involved heavily in the Tizen project, when it already has bada to develop. However, we can only speculate the following:

Tizen is based on Linux and is an open source project that will most likely find itself on various devices from Samsung to the likes of Nokia (since Meego is no more). On the other hand, bada is Samsung’s own proprietary platform, built on BSD which it embeds on its own devices and associates with its own brand. There was speculation sometime last year that Samsung would make bada an open source project, but with the rise of Tizen, that seems highly unlikely.

So, how will bada, or Samsung benefit from all this?

Since Tizen will be available on various devices, the platform will draw in app developers from different spheres, pulling in a wide selection of apps. These apps will all be compatible with bada (since Tizen is heavily based on bada) and all bada devices will benefit from a greater selection of apps.

Also, Tizen is based on Linux, just like Android. Now, this is important because Samsung’s involvement in an open source Linux-based mobile platform other than Android suggests that Samsung is looking for an alternative platform to power its Galaxy range. Why would they? Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility is a red flag, signalling other mobile manufacturers away from the platform. Motorola will almost definitely benefit from the acquisition because it will most likely be Google’s device of choice on which to further develop Android, and who wants to just follow what Motorola has? Not Samsung, that’s for sure!

Sammobile recently posted leaked images of the Tizen platform on a Samsung I9500. The I9500 is a Galaxy phone (possibly Galaxy S3, but we won’t go that far in making assumptions just yet). Here are the images:

According to the Tizen Association, “The initial release of Tizen is targeted for Q1 2012, enabling first devices to come to market in mid-2012.

”

The Tizen Association was launched late last year. The current companies on the Board of Directors are listed below:

Tizen Association