After LG announced more than a year ago that it would offer the WebOS software platform to other companies under license to enable the development of smart TVs with software similar to that of its models, Samsung is also announcing a similar initiative. Tizen OS, the operating system now found only on the company’s TVs, will be available for licensing to other third-party companies, offering yet another alternative to Android and Roku, the other major platforms on TVs.
Tizen OS-equipped TVs without Samsung logo coming soon
Unlike LG, which has put the WebOS operating system up for grabs without confirming a partner, Samsung already has a list of companies signing up for the program. Tizen OS will be found on TVs sold under the Akai, RCA, Bauhn, Linsar, Sunny and Vispera brands. It will be in stores in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to the Tizen interface, which offers well-structured menus and access to a large selection of apps, Samsung is also offering partners access to its proprietary services, such as Samsung TV Plus, its video streaming platform, the Bixby virtual assistant and Universal Guide, the algorithm that learns user behavior to constantly provide relevant content suggestions from services installed on the TV.
This method of licensing the operating system could become a new source of revenue for Samsung in the TV area. Basically, all it has to do is offer the software it already develops for its own products to other companies. But it is not clear who will be in charge of updates for Tizen OS TVs, whether they will all be updated simultaneously when a new version is released, or whether each manufacturer will develop individual updates for its own models.