While we wait for KitKat to make its impact felt, Samsung may have a crafty ace up their sleeve. At a recent conference hosted by The Linux Foundation, Samsung told the crowd there was a version of their operating system that might be able to beat Android 4.4 to the punch. In fact, it may beat KitKat in general for some lower-end devices.
Tizen, Samsung’s mobile OS that is said to both dominate Android at some point or be going away entirely, seems to pop up now and again. This time, there seems to be a version of Tizen that can run on lower-specced devices. Dubbed Tizen Lite, this one can operate on devices with 256 MB of RAM, whereas KitKat needs 512 MB.
This new version of Tizen will also only support screen resolutions up to 320 x 480. For the true lower end market, Tizen Lite may have something interesting to offer. That all sounds a bit troubling, but put into context, Android 4.4 may not be the target for this version of Tizen. Unlike the full version of Tizen, which is more like KitKat in regard to hardware needs, Tizen Lite may be pointed at Nokia’s Asha OS. Asha is aimed at very emerging markets, who’s device specs are extremely limited.
In either case, Tizen is yet to actually make an impact. Though devices shipping with Samsung’s OS are set to ship sooner rather than later, the actual ecosystem is limited. Without access to the Play Store, it’s unlikely any current Android users will find a compelling reason to switch. It does, however, fall in line with Samsung’s new focus on the mid-range market, and could be the next step in their quest to dominate all aspects of the mobile device realm.