Samsung has found plenty of success in its line of Android powered devices, but it doesn’t intend for its mobile business to rely solely on Google’s platform. The company has been working on its own Linux-based Tizen operating system for quite some time, and while it aborted launches in Europe and Japan last year due to “poor market conditions”, the project is still very much alive.
Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of the Korean firm’s product strategy team, told Reuters that a high-end phone based on Tizen should be out around the end of the second quarter. He noted that their initial attempt to launch Tizen with DoCoMo and Orange didn’t materialize and since then the strategy has changed to focus on “a few countries where we can do well”.
There was no mention of which countries the company intended to target. A second Tizen phone will come afterwards aimed at the mid-range segment.
The company showed off a prototype Tizen smartphone at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The OS mostly looks and works like Android, with a few differences here and there, and lacking the crucial app support of Android.
Yoon Han-kil clarified that while Smasung will be pushing Tizen and Windows Phone devices, Android remains their main business and that’s not likely to change soon. If anything, he says Tizen has to account for about 15% of Samsung’s mobile shipments per year to be considered successful.
The company is already using Tizen for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, and will introduce a new smartwatch based on Android Wear later this year.