Update: Tizen OS declared 'dead in the water'

The mobile OS is years behind Android and iOS with a fraction of the developers, says analyst

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Lam's company built Omlet, an open and programmable messaging platform that can run on the Gear 2 and the Android-based Galaxy S5 smartphone, as well as the $99 Asus Zen smartphone, which uses an Intel processor. Lam said she hopes Omlet can be used in cars and wearables that rely on Tizen.

The relatively new Tizen Association, an industry consortium supporting the mobile OS, has defended the fledgling OS since last November, and recently announced it has 88 partner organizations and companies, after adding 37 more in May. In a statement from May, Tizen Association board member Ryoichi Sugimura from Japanese carrier NTT Docomo, said the group continues to attract support from "some of the most innovative players in the connected device ecosystem." The enthusiasm from supporters is greatest from app developers, he added.

The full e-mailed response to Sheehy's criticism from the unidentified person associated with the Tizen group that was sent to Computerworld is as follows:

"One thing to be aware of - this argument is true of any new entrant to the market, and the exact same thing was said about Android when it first came out. Obviously a lot can happen over a few years, but we feel that Tizen has a good chance to succeed.

"There are a few factors going for Tizen. One is that it has big name backers. If anyone is poised to compete well in this market and bring a diverse array of devices to market, it's Samsung. One of the recurring themes that we hear when talking with developers is that they acknowledge Tizen is not in the market yet, but that they want to be in early when it does take off, because it's hard to bet against a big name. Looking back, it would have been virtually impossible to predict the runaway success of the original Motorola Droid, but developers who trusted in the platform and the company releasing the product were certainly well rewarded.

"In addition, the nature of app development has changed dramatically since Android emerged. At that time, developers needed to know each SDK in order to generate apps. That's no longer strictly the case across the board. Of course there's HTML5, but also a lot of high-grade apps are being produced using things like Unity, Marmalade, Sencha, Cocos2d-x, Gamemaker Studio, etc. The value of these platforms is that you write to their SDK, and do a one click export for the Android package, the iOS package, the Tizen package, etc. The economics of getting quality apps into a non-Android, non-Apple store are far more advantageous for developers than they've ever been.

"Finally, mobile is only part of the picture for Tizen. The goal from the start has been to create a common platform that can be used for multiple devices. This includes - but is certainly not limited to - mobile, wearables, TVs, white goods, IVI, etc. From this perspective, Tizen is hooking into the broader economics of engineering convergence and internal standardization, a model which has been proven time and again in the consumer electronics industry."

Sheehy said his analyst firm has no commercial relationship with either Apple or Google and he holds no shares in either company. Noting the firm recently published a report that was harsh on Google, he added, "We're not Google fan boys."

Sheehy also admitted that Generator is not always as opinionated as it was about Tizen's dismal future, but added, "in cases like this where it's clear to us what's happening, then why not tell it as it is?"

This article, Tizen OS declared 'dead in the water' by analyst, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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