Samsung Tizen Smartphone Release Date: Later This Year
Samsung plans to offer a high-end smartphone framed on the open-source, Linux-based, Tizen operating system later this year, according to a top executive for the Korean mobile device maker. Lee Young Hee, Samsung mobile business executive vice president, told Bloomberg News that the “Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category. The device will be the best product equipped with the best specifications.” But here’s the really interesting question…
Is Tizen the Korean smartphone maker’s secret weapon—a hedge against relying too heavily on Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) Android? Or is Samsung nervous that Google may put the squeeze on if its Motorola Mobility unit turns out some mobile winners? Hmm….
Samsung’s Tizen news isn’t out of the blue by any means. In early January, the company confirmed part of a report in Japan’s Daily Yomiuri that it planned new devices based on the Tizen OS, stopping short of acknowledging, however, that it will launch the units in concert with Japanese carrier NTT Docomo as the report suggested. This latest Bloomberg account did not mention potential carriers for the upcoming Samsung Tizen smartphones.
What’s a little surprising is Samsung’s intention to position a Tizen-based smartphone at the high-end of the market, especially considering it will soon release the Galaxy S4. With Samsung heavily reliant on Android to maintain its smartphone market momentum—its Bada OS is barely a player in the market and largely is confined to low-end devices—the thinking was Samsung might use Tizen to prod the cheaper segment of the market. But that apparently is not the case, leaving open the question of how the vendor will juxtapose it with the Galaxy S4.
The Tizen OS is a Linux-based operating system springing from Nokia’s defunct 2010 MeeGo project with Intel (NSDQ: INTC), subsequently taken over by the chip maker and Samsung and overseen by the Linux Foundation, as described here. It is designed to support tablets, netbooks, handsets, smart TV and in-vehicle Infotainment systems, embracing HTML5 and enabling wireless carriers to deliver their own services. Big names, including U.K.’s Vodafone and France Telecom are involved as are Panasonic and NEC.