Samsung had thought about launching its first Tizen-powered smartphone numerous times in 2014, but instead has been repeatedly delaying the unveiling throughout the year. However, it appears that the South Korean phone maker is finally gonna go ahead and do it and introduce its new Tizen-powered handset in January next year.
For those not familiar with Tizen, it is an open-source software that basically anybody can use. For Samsung, Tizen might provide a means for breaking away from the Android platform, the predominant system used in most of the phone maker's smartphones.
As for the new handset that will run on Tizen, it is called the Samsung Z1 and it is expected to to be launched next month in India, a country where lots of phone makers offer low-cost handsets that run on Google's Android mobile operating system.
Let's be clear: the Samsung Z1 device will not be competing directly against the new iPhones, the Google Nexus 6 phablet, or even Samsung's own flagship offering, the Galaxy S5. Instead, the Samsung Z1 will serve as a low-cost alternative to other Samsung devices, at the same time, give Samsung a chance to have sole control of the hardware and software aspects of its products (like Apple, basically).
Still, Samsung owes some of its success to Android. By using the platform in its products, the South Korean company was able to penetrate the mobile market and go on to become a global leader in smartphone sales over the last few years. Its smartphone profits have since peaked lately as Samsung shifted its focus on the high-end market, which has become overcrowded for some time now.
Now, it appears that Samsung is set on offering mobile products that feature its own software, including online stores for mobile apps and multimedia. The company has actually tried taking the independent path before. As a matter of fact, Samsung had previously pushed for Samsung-branded stores, but Google's Android licensing terms and conditions mandates that Google's services be given the better exposure. As a result, the storefronts that Samsung did deploy never attracted enough attention from end users. If Samsung intends to have better control of its platform (and of course, the revenues), it is imperative that the company break away from using Android.
But much will depend on how well Samsung's new Tizen-powered device will take to the masses. Based on leaked specifications, the Samsung Z1 is not bad, especially when you consider that it is a low-cost smartphone offering. But what about the Tizen experience? Will users dig the system? We are going to find out in the next year or so.
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