Could this be Samsung’s first move in the smartwatch OS powerplay?
US-owners of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will soon be able to switch the device’s operating system to Tizen, Samsung’s very own Android-competitor.
The watch was initially released to market working on a back-to-basics Android operating system, but then the second-generation of the Gear watches which were released this year employed Tizen.
Samsung now wants to get owners of the original Gear to start using Tizen, and it’s all part of a wider effort to get the Tizen boat floating after somewhat failing to really be a commercial success for Samsung so far.
The Korean giant’s current Tizen-powered devices only go so far as a ‘smart’ camera range, and the Gear 2 watches (and soon to be the Galaxy Gear). Launching in Russia later this year before expanding to other markets, Samsung revealed a Tizen-powered smartphone in June. The device will run on Tizen 2.2.1, making it the first commercially available smartphone running the Linux-based software in the world.
Available in black and gold versions, the Samsung Z features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and 8MP rear camera, and is powered by a 2.3 GHz Quad-core processor backed up with 2GB of RAM, alongside a 2600mAh battery.
However, Samsung may have actually admitted defeat in trying to compete against Android when it comes to mobile, and realised it has a very healthy chance of becoming a market-leading operating system provider for smartwatches. With Android Wear having only just come out, and Apple’s iWatch offering non-existent yet, a dominate smartwatch operating system is all to play for.
The Gear Tizen upgrade will also open up many new apps for users, following a massive push to get Tizen developers by Samsung.