High-end Tizen smartphone from Samsung out by the end of June, Android-based smartwatch in the works
Samsung’s oft-delayed first Tizen smartphone could actually be headed for a release this year. Sure, that’s not very believable, given the company’s track record on the matter and how many times we have so far heard that this mythical Tizen beast was just around the corner, but this time it might just be. No, really. This time it’s real.
Or at least that’s what a Samsung executive told Reuters. The South Korean company expects to release its first Tizen smartphone, a high-end device, before the end of the second quarter of this year. We’re assuming that means we should see it sometime in June.
A second Tizen handset will also be launched by Samsung in 2014, but later on – and this will be a midranger. No other details have surfaced this time around, but Samsung isn’t looking to replace Android with Tizen, in fact the aforementioned exec said Google’s mobile operating system is still going to be the company’s main platform going forward.
As for Tizen, in order for it to be considered successful, it would have to account for around 15% of sold Samsung smartphones. That’s a long way from happening at this point.
The first Tizen smartphones will be launched in a few countries where Samsung knows it can do well, whatever that may mean. Apparently there’s been a change of strategy relating to Tizen after a failed launch with NTT Docomo in Japan and Orange in Europe.
In the nascent smartwatch space, Tizen can already be found inside Samsung’s recently launched Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, replacing the Android OS that the company had employed for their predecessor. However, Samsung will have a new smartwatch out in 2014, and this will be based on Android Wear, Google’s new wearable platform that’s optimized for such use cases.
A new Galaxy Note is also coming later this year, as you’d expect, and it will reportedly feature “a new form factor”, though what exactly that might mean is still a mystery.
The Korean company expects its recently released Galaxy S5 to do better, sales-wise, than its predecessor, which would be quite a feat considering that growth at the high-end of the smartphone market has stalled.
All of the information you just read comes straight from Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, so there’s no reason to doubt any of it, vague as some things may be.