JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications, presents the Samsung Galaxy Gear in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Samsung has unveiled a highly anticipated digital wristwatch well ahead of a similar product expected from rival Apple. The so-called smartwatch is what some technology analysts believe could become this year's must-have holiday gift. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear on Wednesday in Berlin ahead of the annual IFA consumer electronics show. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Samsung's new Gear smartwatch will run on a new platform and it won't be Android.
Instead, it's running on Tizen, an "open-source project" that is developing a new software platform for smartphones and other devices, according to USA Today. It's considered an attempt by the South Korean manufacturer to develop its own software and services rather than rely on Google technology and upgrades.
The piece quoted unnamed sources and said that Tizen was launched last year but with little fanfare. However, as of last week, 15 new partners emerged wanting to use the platform including Sprint, SoftBank and Baidu. Despite using Android on the first smartwatch, Samsung is using an HTML5 version of Tizen to "avoid giving Google too much power."
By this, we take it to mean that Samsung doesn't want to just be a device manufacturer, but also tap into Google's lucrative services which also sells ads.
"Samsung is trying to protect its own long-term interests, not fortifying Google's Android camp while building their own camp around Tizen," Stuart Richens, vice president of digital media at Network Communications, told USA Today.
It's too early to say if Samsung's venture is a good one, but it will mean a new set of apps and services for the new platform.