updated 06:58 am EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Tizen smartphones, Android-powered smart watch still on the way
Samsung is preparing to launch at least one Tizen-powered smartphone before the end of this year, according to an executive. Speaking in an interview about the Galaxy S5's sales figures, senior vice president for Samsung's product strategy team Yoon Han-kil advised that the first would be a "high-end model" launching around the end of the second quarter.
A second device will be a mid-ranged offering to drive volume growth, Yoon told Reuters, though did not suggest when it will surface. Yoon mentioned the difficulties Samsung had with launching a Tizen device, citing poor market conditions with one attempt through DoCoMo and Orange. "We have changed our strategy and will release the phones in a few countries where we could do well," claimed the executive.
Tizen running on a Samsung Galaxy S4
While it has renewed its focus on Tizen, Yoon states that Android "still needs to be our main business," with Tizen and Windows destined for markets that Android would be less suitable for. For it to be classed as a success, Yoon believes that Tizen devices would have to make up 15 percent of Samsung's total smartphone shipments, though the dominance of Android in its product portfolio will make this difficult.
Tizen has been found to be useful for Samsung in a few cases so far, with the NX300M mirrorless camera being the first to ship under the operating system. The company's current Gear smart watch range switched from Android to Tizen for this generation, with Samsung encouraging developers to integrate their apps with the devices, though it is still planning to produce a second Android-based version later this year, possibly using Android Wear.
On the initial subject of the Galaxy S5, Yoon was hopeful that it would perform well in terms of sales. "S5 sales should be much better than the S4," suggested Yoon, though he admitted "it's difficult to share specific numbers as we're still at early stages."