How Samsung has used Android to build their own OS and ecosystem


As I unpacked my Nexus 4 and was having a play with it in great excitement, my sister came up to me and asked if it was the new Samsung, I told her it wasn’t. This left her confused asking “If it’s not an iPhone or a Samsung, what is it?”, “It’s Google’s new Android phone” I said. She knew exactly what Google was, but had no idea what the hell Android was. This led me to think further about Samsung and Android.

In 2012 Samsung’s device were the top 6 sold Android devices and 8 of the top 10; people know Samsung, not Android. Samsung knows this, they know it very well and they’re using this to turn into the number 1 gun in the mobile world and to leave Apple in the dust.


You may or may not of heard of Tizen, but I’m sure you’ve heard of its biggest packers, Intel and Samsung. The open source operating system is a combination of Samsung’s old Bada operating system and the Nokia/Intel brainchild of MeeGo which was disappointingly only ever released on one device. But whether you have heard of it or not, it will play a big part of significance in Samsung’s quest for world domination.

For now, lets go back to Android, in particular, Samsung’s TouchWiz version of Android. Samsung’s TouchWiz is styled differently to Android, they have their own apps, even ones that compete directly with Google’s, right down to their own app store. As of January 2013, there have been over 100 million Samsung Galaxy S devices sold; this means 100 million people that are all familiar with Samsung’s interface and apps

So how does all of this relate? Samsung’s Tizen operating system is based on Linux, just like Android and is capable of running Android applications with a little bit of 3rd party help (which Samsung is perfectly capable of providing). This means that Samsung can push a Tizen based device, featuring all their apps from their TouchWiz Android devices, their own fully loaded app store and with an interface that people are already familiar with right onto the market and the general consumer won’t notice much difference to their Android devices.

When Samsung releases their first Tizen device at the end of the year, it will be in the high end market and tg things above will almost certainly be a part of it. On top of their smartphones, their tablets and televisions are all capable of running this one operating system and in the world of mobile devices and smart TV’s, having a unified experience is crucial in such a competitive market.

So why would Samsung break away from its proven successful formula of TouchWiz on Android? Money. At the moment, Samsung sells their device and then that’s where the money ends for them. Google then takes a big slice of money spent in the Play Store on apps, music, videos and books – this is where Samsung wants to capitalise, just like Apple does with its iTunes and App stores.


The move to Tizen is inevitable for Samsung and the logical one. Most consumers will know no different to their other devices, and buy them in the millions like they do now, and the ones that do will still be drawn in by the same stuff they were drawn in with Samsung’s Android based devices. The difference now for Samsung is that they can directly control the operating system, they no longer have to worry about the ‘Microsoft Tax’ with Android devices and their profits from their app, video and music stores will grow, just as their revenue will.

Samsung is set to make waves at the end of the year when they release their new device and transform the mobile world. Exciting times lie ahead in the mobile world and as the competition rises, so does the innovation which means win, win, win for us.

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