Huawei joins Tizen

Open source mobile platform and spiritual son of MeeGo, Tizen, has gained a new supporter in the shape of Huawei, jumping on board just as the Tizen team releases the SDK beta and source code. Huawei is the latest member of the Tizen Association Board, and apparently intends to release devices "for a range of markets" running the platform. Exactly when that will take place is unclear, however.

"We are very happy to join fellow industry leaders on the Board of Tizen Association. Our ongoing goal is to work closely with our customers and partners to bring truly innovative handset propositions to consumers in all markets and the new Tizen ecosystem complements our existing areas of focus and provides fresh opportunity for tremendously strengthening Huawei's brand name in the mobile segment" Glory Zhang, spokesperson, Huawei Device

As for the SDK beta and source code, that includes an updated UI framework along with web APIs that promise to make development of web applications more straightforward. For instance, web-based applications will be able to set alarms, access media contents, retrieve system information, and more.

There's also Windows OS support for the SDK, rather than just Ubuntu as before, something which the Tizen team is hoping will kick-start adoption. Still, the organization cautions that it's not yet ready for prime-time; "this is a preview" Tizen says, "and not yet designed for use to create production applications."

Tizen was announced back in September, with Samsung and Intel taking the remnants of MeeGo and creating a new platform with a focus on web-app integration. Subsequent plans suggest Samsung intends to integrate its own bada platform into Tizen, while Acer and ASUS are also believed to be considering using the platform. It's not just phones, either; tablets and netbooks running the OS are also in the pipeline, with the final release of the development environment expected in Q2 of 2012.

Huawei has already set out its stall for entry-level smartphone users, pushing ahead in its plans to storm the top five mobile manufacturers with low-cost devices. With Tizen, Huawei could well target a more affordable market without the threat of Android-related patent litigation hanging over it.