Samsung says that in order for Tizen to be successful, it needs to account for 15 percent of the company’s smartphone shipments.
After being rumoured for over a year, Samsung’s Tizen handset will be officially unveiled later this quarter. Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team announced in an interview with Reuters that the first Tizen handset will launch next quarter, and that it would be a high-end model. Samsung also intends to launch a mid-range Tizen handset sometime later this year.
Yoon said that Android “still needs to be our (Samsung’s) main business”, but that the Tizen handsets would be targeted at markets that Android could not address.
“We had tried to launch (Tizen) with DoCoMo and Orange … but couldn’t because of poor market conditions. We have changed our strategy and will release the phones in a few countries where we can do well,” he is quoted as saying.
Yoon stated that for Tizen to be considered a successful platform, it needs to account for 15 percent of Samsung’s total smartphone shipments in 2014.
That is a tall order, considering that the manufacturer intends to sell 35 million units of the Galaxy S5 this quarter. Yoon touched on the subject of the Galaxy S5 sales and mentioned that although growth in the high-end smartphone segment is slow, the Galaxy S5 is well-received throughout the world. Initial estimates suggest that the handset has managed to sell better than the Galaxy S4 and is on course to break the sales record of the Galaxy S4.
The cost of the Galaxy S5, which at $750 was lesser to than the Galaxy S4’s launch price could have been the major factor in the strong initial sales of the Galaxy S5. The fact that the device features an integrated finger scanner, heart rate sensor and better camera sensor and comes bundled with over $500 worth of digital services haven’t hurt sales either.
Yoon also mentioned that in addition to the Tizen-based handset, Samsung will introduce a smartwatch that runs on Google’s Android Wear OS. There wasn’t any indication as to what features the device would come with, but Samsung has trademarked the Galaxy S Fitness name in the US earlier this week. The presence of the Galaxy branding in the name of the watch means that this device will most likely be the one running Android Wear.
Samsung has already launched a host of tablets and mobile devices in 2014. However, it looks like the manufacturer will shift focus to the wearable segment as it tries to find its “Next Big Thing.”