Samsung places bet on its ‘Tizen’ operating system

“Samsung Electronics Co. launched a smartphone in India that runs its homegrown Tizen operating system, a major step by the world’s largest phone maker in advancing an alternative to Google Inc.’s dominant Android platform,” Jonathan Cheng reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The launch, on Wednesday in New Delhi, comes after a year of frustrations and near-misses, underscoring the challenges of competing in the cutthroat market for mobile software and services, which is increasingly dominated by Google and Apple Inc.,” Cheng reports. “By focusing on first-time smartphone users in India and loading Tizen onto other electronic devices like televisions and smartwatches, Samsung hopes to gain a foothold in parts of the market where its Silicon Valley rivals aren’t entrenched players. The entry-level device, dubbed the Samsung Z1, will be priced at less than $100.”

“On several occasions last year, Samsung tried to launch a Tizen smartphone variously in Japan, France, Russia and India. In each case, the South Korean company or its partners balked at the last minute, citing a lack of support from the market — from carriers and from app developers,” Cheng reports. “This time around, Samsung overcame these obstacles by bypassing carriers and app developers, selling the phone directly through its retail networks and using Web versions of Facebook , Twitter and YouTube to cover over the fact that none of those companies built Tizen-specific apps.”

The Samsung Z1, the Tizen-powered smartphone Samsung launched in India on Wednesday
The Samsung Z1, the Tizen-powered smartphone Samsung launched in India on Wednesday

Cheng reports, “Google, whose Android platform powers nearly every smartphone that Samsung now sells, has been closely monitoring Tizen’s development, and some Android executives are concerned about the possibility of Google’s biggest smartphone partner trying to build an alternative, low-end operating system.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Schism among thieves.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan K.,” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]


    1. Maybe not, in this case… For many low-end Android users, their “smartphone” is not much more than a glorified “feature phone.” 🙂 They mostly use whatever is already on the device when they get it.

      Samsung is basically replacing their low-low-end non-Android feature phones with new feature phones that run Tizen. These phones will do what they do when purchased for its intended service life, and that’s probably OK for its intended customers.

        1. Samsung already fills that market segment, and while it may not be as profitable as the market segment Apple serves, Samsung needs the ultra-low-end segment to survive. Making a better feature phone is probably a good move for Samsung.

        2. Palm, Moto, Nokia, BB; they all failed with arguably good products, so what does Samsung have to hand its hat on?

          Xiaomi is likely to beat Samsung on the low end by keeping Android and selling at the low end.

          Don’t get the Tizen solution.

          1. Samsung is in a hole and they know it. Ciao I can always sell phones cheaper than Samsung. Sure Samsung can undercut them on price, but their profits would tank even more. Lovely, innit? 😉

            They’re probably at the “let’s throw anything at the wall and see what sticks” approach… But it’s more about the future. Samsung is still big in Asia, but more on the low end and I’m already seeing Xiaomi make inroads into the low end Android market here.

  1. With plummeting sales and consumers being unhappy with the security of Android – yes Samsung is taking a good direction offering Tizen. After all – what choice do they have?

    However, Tizen will fail. And hence Samsung will really need Apples’ contracts for components and assembly to stay alive.

  2. Because cheap no profit phones are where it’s at eh Shamdung? (No but it’s where you belong.)

    Awww, poor Google is worried about someone else stealing their own malware infested, fragmented and copied thunder just as they stole from others.

    Poor poor Google…

  3. Does anybody else remember when the tech press was showering Samsung with adulation? Samsung had supposedly surpassed Apple with respect to innovation (yes, people actually said that). If you want proof that those articles were click-bait, note the fact that almost nobody is covering Samsung’s development/rollout of Tizen nor requesting Tizen-based phones. Samsung has no real loyalty in its customer base, and the only real advantage it ever had over Apple (large screened phones) is gone. To the pain! (glass raised).

  4. I thought that having an Android license precluded you from selling phones with other operating systems. Meaning Samsung could still sell Android devices, but no longer use the Android brand or be part of the Open Handset Alliance. What happened with that?

  5. i don’t really get this.

    samsung androids are being crushed on the low end because it can’t match Chinese phone prices.
    So does Samsung think that people would pay more for a Tizen phone than a cheaper Chinese android? Tizen’s eco system is smaller , has less name recognition etc.

    Tizen was originally designed to emulate Apple controls both hardware and software. But starting at the cheapo low end destroys it’s high end appeal. Forever the phones will be tainted with ‘it’s the CHEAP phone OS it might get the same ‘fame’ as India’s low end Tata cars…. After that who is going to buy an expensive Galaxy with Tizen? (like buying an expensive car with a tata engine… )
    and as I said in my first section going after the low end vs cheapo chinese Androids won’t be easy.

  6. Apple does really well when it’s customers *have* previously owned a competitive product.

    Tizen has to sell to people who don’t know what a smartphone can and should be.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.