Samsung Preps "High-End" Tizen Smartphone for May Launch
April 28, 2014 12:53 PM
Mid-range model will also launch; both phones will target developing markets
Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) is expected to launch a smartphone in May that runs a Linux kernel-based competitor to Google Inc.'s (
) ubiquitous Android smartphone operating system. The phone's performance sales-wise will be closely watched, given that Samsung is Google's largest volume partner for Android.
I. Tizen Creeps Close
The new smartphone platform is dubbed "Tizen". Many believe that Samsung views Tizen as a path to cornering more mobile profits for itself, amid
with having to share a cut of mobile advertising revenue with Google.
In the wearables market, Samsung has already embraced Tizen.
Samsung is preparing to launch its first Tizens-powered Linux smartphones.
[Image Source: beritateknologi]
Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches
will both be powered by the Samsung co-developed operating system.
Samsung Gear 2 Neo
According to Samsung Electronics' SVP Yoon Han-Kil, chief of product strategy, told reporters with the
International Business Times
and other publications that Samsung will
launch a "high-end" smartphone
powered by Tizen near the end of Q2 2014, next month in May. A mid-range targeted Tizen smartphone is also expected to roll out before the end of Q2.
II. The Path to Tizen
The path to Tizen was winding and wild. The roots of Tizen trace back to a pair of mobile operating system projects -- one at Intel Corp. (
), one at Finland's Nokia Oyj. (
) (Maemo). Together the joint OS effort was
But after the 2010 launch of the Meego project, it never saw traction, as Nokia instead opted to go with Microsoft Corp.'s (
Windows Phone operating system for its mobile future
. After it officially
dropped out of the Meego collaboration in early 2011
to shack up with the Samsung Linux Platform (SLP), which was
relaunched as Tizen
Tizen is thought to incorporate some of Intel's technology from Meego, but it is directly derived from SLP, not Meego.
Tizen in the wild on a Samsung prototype device [Image Source: Indonesia Tizen]
The high-end model launching next month is thought to be codenamed SM-Z9005 and will launch at an event in Russia,
. Tizen product will first be used by Samsung to target developing markets such as Russia, Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia.
The higher-end first-generation Tizen phone is expected to resemble last year's Android-powered flagship device,
the Samsung Galaxy S4
The high-end Tizen device is expected to be based on last year's flagship Android, the Galaxy S4. [Image Source: AP]
While the initial implementation of Tizen is heavily geared towards mobile from an API, UI, and applications front, Samsung hopes to also use the Tizen OS to drives its Smart TVs and appliances, showcasing its ability to extend outside the mobile space.
Samsung is not alone in the Tizen effort. Tizen's other major OEM backer is China's Huawei Technology Comp., Ltd. (
). Tizen is also backed by a variety of chipmakers, software firms, and telecoms.
Huawei, one of the world's fastest growing smartphone makers, is approaching the project from a similar position as Samsung -- currently it depends on Android, but it would like to use Tizen across part of its line to cut out the middleman (Google) and corner more profit for itself.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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