It has been found that Samsung Electronics is planning to release its Tizen smartphone in October this year in the United States, Japan, China, Russia, and France. It is currently working on localization of the applications to be provided with the phone.
Tizen is an open-source operating system developed by 12 mobile carriers and handset manufacturers around the world, including Samsung Electronics, to face Apple’s iOS and Google Android. The other members are Intel, NEC, Panasonic, Fujitsu, SK Telecom, NTT Docomo, Vodafone, Orange Telecom, Sprint, KT, and Huawei. Among them, Sprint, NTT Docomo, Huawei, and Orange Telecom are particularly positive about the release of the Tizen smartphone. In Russia, the smartphone penetration rate is below 20%, but Samsung’s Bada OS accounts for 15% of the market, and thus the Tizen OS is expected to be quite well received by local consumers.
However, Samsung is said to have no plan to launch the new phone in Korea for now, even though SK Telecom and KT are agreeing to the necessity of a third mobile OS other than iOS and Android.
“The Android operating system takes up close to 90% of the Korean market and the new OS is unlikely to increase its presence there for a while,” said an industry insider, adding, “It seems that the telecom operators in Korea are considering that the time is not yet ripe for the introduction of Tizen.” In this context, SK Telecom president Ha Sung-min said during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 back in February, “We are one of the members of the Tizen alliance and are willing to adopt the new OS, but we will not hurry until it becomes competitive enough.”
“It is a kind of misunderstanding to regard Tizen as an alternative to Android,” Samsung Electronics IT and Mobile Division president Shin Jong-kyun explained during a recent interview, continuing, “Its purpose is to provide consumers and businesses with products that can suit their needs.”