Samsung Struggles to Jumpstart its Tizen Operating System

Samsung’s attempts at competing with the likes of Apple and Google using its own mobile operating system have proven challenging to get off the ground. The company’s Linux-based, open source operating system, Tizen, shows promise and most certainly has potential, but with initial investors and partners backing out, Samsung is having a difficult time getting to the point where it can add its software to the devices it already manufactures.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung has poured a great deal of resources — billions of dollars, in fact — into Tizen to add some competition to the mobile software landscape. There’s a lot of potential for the software. Apple’s latest fiscal year figures reveal it made $16 billion in sales through its iTunes and App stores.

Meanwhile, around 60 percent of Samsung’s 67,000 engineers are working specifically on software development for Tizen. Intel has helped significantly in the development process, too. “But some of the world’s major wireless carriers are beginning to pull their support of phones slated to run the platform,” WSJ reports.

In a surprising change of heart, Samsung’s closest partner, Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo, indefinitely put off its plans of releasing devices with Tizen built in. Sprint, Spain’s Telefónica and France’s Orange also rescinded their immediate interests in Tizen.

WSJ reports Tizen had around 6,000 apps in December, “a far cry from the nearly one million apps on Apple’s iOS.” Samsung’s complicated relationship with Google is likely also a contributing factor to the difficulty getting Tizen up and running.

“While Google and Samsung continue to talk up the strength of their partnership in public, the two companies increasingly were stepping on each other’s toes,” the article says.