If it seems we’ve been talking about a Tizen-powered phone for three years, it’s because we have. Samsung planned to release a handset with the software last year only to have it be delayed into this year. We’re nearing the end of 2014 and there’s still no Tizen phone, however, there’s evidence it will be ready soon.
SamMobile noticed a profile page for the expected phone on Tuesday, showing some of the specifications. Based on the profile data, the handset — internally dubbed the SM-Z130H but will be publicly known as the [company]Samsung[/company] Z — will have an 800 x 480 resolution screen and 1.2 GHz processor. SamMobile adds that it expects the phone to have a 3.2 megapixel camera sensor, dual SIM card slots and a built-in FM radio.
Clearly, this will be a low-end smartphone, likely aimed at emerging markets and possibly launching first in India. That makes sense as that market segment is the fastest growing right now. What doesn’t make sense to me is for Samsung to use Tizen at this point. I might feel differently if the calendar read 2011 or 2012 but we’re closing in on 2015 and Android is the dominant platform with no signs of losing that stature.
I can understand why Samsung wants to use Tizen on devices: It can then control both the hardware and software instead of being beholden to [company]Google[/company] and Android. It’s awful late in the game though and there are plenty of inexpensive Android phones with a strong app ecosystem available in the same markets that Samsung will be targeting. Heck, there are good low-cost [company]Microsoft[/company] devices in that market as well; I’d be surprised if Tizen can take more market share than Windows Phone at this point.
Tizen isn’t a bad idea for Samsung. It’s simply an issue of bad timing. Perhaps I’ll feel differently once we actually see the Samsung Z launch but for now, I think the Tizen phone ship has sailed.