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Samsung proposes EU IoT OS

William Payne
August 10, 2017

Samsung has proposed its Tizen OS as an integrated IoT OS for the EU against Google and Apple. The company's chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun, met in July with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and is reported to have a received positive responses from both leaders for a proposed EU IoT OS independent of both Google and Apple. French leader Macron is said to be particularly supportive of the proposal.

The EU recently imposed a 2.24 billion euro fine on Google relating to how it handles search results. In some countries on the continent there are demands for a 'Google Tax', and measures to restrict its activities. 

The report in Korean business newspaper, Business Korea, said that Samsung is keen to break free from dependence on Google Android, in particular for adding intelligence and IoT connectivity to household white goods. Business Korea reports insiders as saying that Samsung believes that developing its Tizen operating system in place of Android or Apple's IoS would reduce its costs. The newspaper also said that Samsung believes that Tizen could be used to provide better performance and functionality, and could make time to market for new Samsung goods faster than using an American sourced IoT OS.

The company is said to believe that Tizen would allow for easier and smoother firmware and security upgrades to IoT appliances.

According to Business Korea, Samsung wants to use consumer white goods as a route to establish Tizen as an integrated Linux based operating system across a number of platforms, starting with IoT devices.

Samsung believes it shares common ground with European users and device manufacturers in wanting to establish an IoT and industrial operating ecosystem that is not dominated by American vendors, including Google and Apple.

"Tizen is experiencing difficulties in expanding its market share," an industry insider told Business Korea. "It can be a game changer if Samsung Electronics approaches Europe via a new strategy of OS distribution through Europe's anti-Google sentiment and home appliances."

According to observers, Samsung's strategy is to build up Tizen as an IoT ecosystem focused on a range of consumer devices, including household appliances, TV, and extending to PCs and smartphones.

Samsung is said to be encouraged by the reception its proposals have received in Europe. Both German leader Merkel and French president Macron were said to have been positive about the idea of an IoT OS specifically for the EU.

French leader Macron, a former minister for the economy and industry in Francois Hollande's government, is described as having "achieved a strong consensus" with Samsung CEO Kwon over the company's proposals.

In May, Samsung announced upgrades to Tizen that allowed for rapid development of IoT applications and the ability to scale from smartphones and TVs to thermostats, scales and lightbulbs. The Tizen 4.0 OS also has real time capabilities.

The company has also announced ARTIK IoT chipset modules that provide real-time IoT processing based on Tizen. The latest ARTICK module is aimed at connected home appliances, building products, health care devices, and industrial automation.

An alliance with Microsoft allows IoT applications for Tizen to be built rapidly using C#, .Net and the Xamarin UI framework in Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment.

A number of other companies have been involved in the Tizen Alliance, including NTT DoCoMo, Huawei, SK Telecom, KT, LG U Plus, and Intel.