Samsung is working on two Tizen-powered smartphones, one of which will be released in the second quarter of 2014, and is also preparing an Android-based smartwatch as it presses ahead with a twin-operating system strategy.
The Korean manufacturer is looking to free itself from its dependency on Android and launched its first Tizen devices, the Samsung Gear 2 range of smartwatches, at Mobile World Congress in February.
Samsung is the leading backer of the Tizen platform, which also has support from Intel, Huawei and several operators. However no smartphone running the open source platform has yet materialised. Some have been delayed, and Japanese manufacturer NTT DoCoMo abandoned a planned launch, weakening expectations for the platform, but Samsung hopes it can increase the amount of revenue it can generate from services on its devices.
Yoon Han-Kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team told Reuters it still has high hopes for Tizen, which will help the company target markets it cannot reach with Android alone.
Its first Tizen phone will be a high-end model targeted at the mid-range market in an effort to expand the platform’s share, and Yoon suggested that if 15 percent of the company’s future smartphone shipments are running Tizen, the platform will be a success.
But despite this focus on Tizen, Samsung is also readying an Android-powered smartwatch to complement its existing Gear range, which demonstrates the complexities of its relationship with Google.
Yoon said that Android will remain an important part of the firm’s business , especially with its latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S5, running the operating system.
The new device launched last week and is seen as crucial in the firm’s attempts to reverse two consecutive quarters of declining profits as fears that the high-end smartphone market has saturated. Samsung is confident that the S5 will be more successful than the S4, and Yoon added that market saturation was a concern for all manufacturers.
He said that to combat this threat, Samsung would target all segments of the smartphone market, not just the high end like Apple, while focusing on other areas such as wearable technology and home devices.
Last year, Samsung told TechWeekEurope about its plans for an assault on the enterprise smartphone market during 2014, with its Knox mobile device management platform a central part of this strategy. A new version of Knox was shown off at MWC, offering two-factor authentication, dual billing and support for third party containers.
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