Samsung’s Vice President of Product Strategy has confirmed that the outfit will release its first Tizen-powered smartphone before the beginning of July.
Yoon Han-kil said the phone will feature a flagship-style spec sheet, and could be followed by a mid-range smartphone to help increase market share.
It appears that Tizen devices would be used for bringing in revenue based on app sales and services. If this is the case then Samsung has also changed its cunning plans for Tizen. Initially wanted to introduce Samsung hardware into countries where the manufacturer was not especially popular, it has now decided to launch them in markets where it is an established and popular choice.
All this will be good news for the Tizen camp which is reeling from the news that the Japanese network DoCoMo cancelled a Tizen phone launch.
Then again, Japan is a weak market for Samsung, with analysts showing a steadily declining market share at the end of 2013. Pushing Tizen in places where Samsung does well, could mean the US and the UK will see Tizen later this year. Yoon estimates Tizen will need to represent 15 percent of Samsung’s total smartphone shipments if it is to be worthwhile.
Samsung has already launched Tizen on the new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which were launched alongside the Galaxy S5 during Mobile World Congress.
Yoon said Samsung plans to make its Tizen-powered smartwatches compatible with all Android phones, not just its own, to challenge Google’s new Android Wear software.
An exact launch date hasn’t been provided, with the Samsung executive saying only that it’ll occur somewhere between now and the end of June.
This seems to fit with a January leak of a Tizen device with the codename Z9000 Zeq, which looked very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Android phone, but with a smaller, lower resolution display. The Zeq would fit reasonably with what Samsung is planning for Tizen.