Samsung unveiled the latest TV sets in its line of Ultra HD TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show Monday. Those are the TVs with a super-crisp resolution about twice as sharp as a normal HD TV.
But while everyone was gawking at the display (and it really does look amazing!), Samsung dropped an even bigger bit of news about the “smart” element to its new TVs.
Moving forward, these TVs will run on Tizen, an open source operating system Samsung was originally developing for smartphones.
Tizen was one of the ways Samsung planned to wean itself off of Android. Right now, most of Samsung’s phones run Android, but that adds a heavy dependence on Google and its software and services.
Meanwhile, Samsung has been having trouble selling its phones against competitors like Xiaomi, which also makes Android devices as good as Samsung’s phones, but cost half as much.
Tizen was one way Samsung wanted to differentiate its devices from other Android phones out there, but the project has hit a snag. At least one Tizen phone from Samsung was supposed to launch last year, but it’s either been delayed or totally scrapped.
Now, Tizen has found new life in Samsung’s other gadgets, including the new line of smart TVs the company unveiled on Monday. Tizen will be used to manage your favourite shows, stream content from your Samsung phone or tablet, and watch stuff on services like Netflix. (We’ll have more photos and demos of the TVs this week once we check them out on the CES show floor.)
The bad news: none of Samsung’s Tizen gadgets are big profit drivers for the company. For example, Tizen also powers most of Samsung’s smartwatches and will soon power everyday appliances.
Instead of crushing Android, it seems like Samsung is shifting its Tizen strategy for what it thinks will be the next big thing after smartphones, the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) trend.