Samsung is Android OS’s main success story, yet it has been clear that the Korean brand has its eyes on the distant future when it can control the total experience on its devices – hardware and software. A such, Samsung has been working on Tizen OS for a while. While Tizen is based on Linux, it supports both native and HTML5 apps. The first Tizen phones are scheduled to arrive the market in the first half of 2014.
This is why at first when I read news that Samsung is looking into a partnership between Tizen OS and Mozilla’s Firefox OS, my first reaction was, “What exactly is Samsung looking for again? These people are just crazy!” For all of two minutes, I was shaking my head – in my head. But understanding wasn’t far from coming. I finally figured out the game plan.
All About HTML5 Apps
Firefox OS is based on HTML5 and runs apps on that platform. This means that an HTML5 app developed for Firefox can work on a Tizen OS phone. Firefox OS is already on ground and has some of those apps ready and live. See the angle now? One of the challenges that Samsung will have in migrating to Tizen is the sheer number of apps that it has to provide on that platform to match the Android experience. Getting Tizen and Firefox to partner can accelerate the solution to that problem.
Apps Away! How It Will Work
Here is what I suspect that Samsung will do:
- Propose to Mozilla that they make one or two Firefox OS phones a year to support the platform
- Propose to Mozilla to share the catalog of apps already available for Firefox OS (and perhaps to share Tizen’s HTML5 apps with Firefox too)
- Also engage in joint development of new HTML5 apps that both platforms will deploy
So, we can expect to see one or two Firefox OS phones from Samsung if things work out. A Samsung phone running Firefox OS will be a big PR plus to Mozilla’s Firefox OS, so both sides stand to gain from this. Samsung has the money to prosecute this, and they want Tizen OS ready to take on Android as fast as possible. A partnership with Firefox OS looks like a good way to fill up the Tizen apps catalogue fast.
No; Samsung isn’t as crazy as it first seemed.