Samsung has lifted the lid on its plans for Tizen, after Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of the Korean firm’s product strategy team, told Reuters that it will launch smartphones running the Linux-based mobile operating system during its second quarter of business in 2014 — which runs April-July.
Tizen-based devices were originally scheduled to go on sale last year, but Yoon admits that the company aborted launches in Europe and Japan “because of poor market conditions”.
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Learning from that experience, the Samsung executive says that Tizen devices — which he anticipates could account for as much as 15 percent of Samsung’s mobile shipments per year — will be aimed at “a few countries where we can do well,” i.e. markets where Android doesn’t quite hit the mark with some consumers.
Yoon further revealed that two Tizen devices will be forthcoming from Samsung — one targeting the high-end of the market and a mid-range device — but he clarified that this push, and the company’s efforts with Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, do not represent a step away from Android, which he says “still needs to be our main business”.
Samsung already has Tizen-based devices in the market, after it used the operating system for its new smartwatches — the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo — but the introduction of smartphones is the big push moment that supporters of the platform are waiting for.
Headline image via ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages