Samsung to use own Tizen OS rather than Android on Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch

Samsung is reportedly going to eschew Android in favour of its own Tizen mobile operating system when it comes to the launch of the Galaxy Gear 2.

C-net reports that unnamed sources have said that the Galaxy Gear 2, which Samsung will take the wraps off next week at MWC, will run Tizen – and there will also be a Tizen phone unveiled.

Further Tizen devices are also planned for the first half of 2014, apparently. Samsung, incidentally, has declined to comment on this speculation.

Tizen, if you’re not familiar with it, is the OS Samsung has been developing for some time, partly as a hedge against Android – and any potential future shenanigans and strong-arming from Google (along the lines of “if you don’t do what we say, you can’t have Google core services on your handsets”).

There’s also the financial side of the equation. Samsung sells a third of all smartphones across the globe, and this huge market share and massive amount of Android handsets generates equally massive ad revenue for Google.

Obviously, if Samsung could bring its own system and services into play, that would be the ideal situation for the company – there’s far more profit there than in manufacturing expensive hardware like premium smartphones. But all this is much easier said than done, as we’ve discussed in several recent features.

Still, if this rumour turns out to be true, this could be the start of Samsung’s big push towards Tizen. Although that would seem to be somewhat at odds with the latest amicable move between the two companies, who just signed off on a ten year cross-licensing patent deal.

Perhaps putting Tizen on the Gear 2 is a toe in the water. The Galaxy Gear was far from a big hit, so putting the OS on its smartwatch sequel – while all eyes are going to be on the Galaxy S5 anyway – could be Samsung’s way of gently introducing Tizen.

We shall see. If Samsung starts to ramp Tizen in earnest, though, you can bet Google is going to have a counter-move.