Samsung Reported Ditching Android for Its Smart Watch

Talk to the hand. That's what Samsung Electronics is telling Google as it gets ready to release its second-generation smart watch, according to a published report.

The South Korean tech giant that made Google's Android operating system the world's top mobile platform has designed the Galaxy Gear 2 to run another open-source system, the Linux-based Tizen, anonymous sources told USA Today. Tizen was developed by the non-profit Linux Foundation in cooperation with Samsung and Intel.

Keeping Options Open

Samsung's ZEQ 9000 is expected to be the first smartphone powered by Tizen, according to reports last month, and the South Korean handset king is expected to showcase more Tizen devices, including the new Gear watch at the Mobile World Congress 2014 that begins next week in Barcelona.

USA Today's sources said the Gear watch will run an HTML5 version of Tizen. While the Gear watch prototype ran Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), and Google is working on an Android version designed for wearable tech, some developers and manufacturers fear that OS will be less open to new applications than before, the report said.

Samsung is a major partner for Google, with its devices amounting to 39.5 percent of all Android shipments globally in 2013, according to International Data Corp. Android is the world's leading mobile operating system, with a 79 percent of the smartphone market, IDC said, or 793 million units, up 59 percent from 2012, when the market share was 69 percent.

With Tizen in its infancy and still seeking new partners, rolling it out on the Gear watch could mean its time has come.

"Tizen hasn't been that successful so far, however in a connected wearable device there isn't much advantage to Android, given apps would need to be custom designed for the device anyway," technology analyst Rob Enderle told us.

Samsung declined to comment, saying it...

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