Samsung is reportedly planning to introduce a sub-$100 smartphone running on its oft-delayed Tizen operating system in India.
The number one smartphone maker in the world said it will hold a press conference in India on 10 December to introduce the Z1, which will be the first handset powered by Tizen, South Korea’s MK Business News reported.
A Samsung executive from its media solution centre in South Asia told the Economic Times in September that Tizen-based devices would be introduced in India in November and would “co-exist with Android devices”, noting that content would be the differentiator of Samsung’s future devices.
Samsung has been working for years to develop its own open source OS to reduce its dependence on the Android platform.
But it has run into numerous problems that have caused multiple delays, which have raised questions about the real chance of success for an additional smartphone platform. The company originally planned to commercialise it in the second half of 2013.
Samsung had announced the launch of the Z smartphone in the Russian market in Q3 this year, but it was subsequently shelved. An earlier reported launch with NTT Docomo in Japan was also pulled at the last minute, as was a planned 2013 debut in association with Orange.
In addition to facing an uphill battle trying to convince other vendors to use the platform, the lack of content and services has made it difficult to market the devices to operators. A Huawei executive said in August it has no plans to use Tizen, even though the company is a member of the Tizen Association.
Samsung has said it will continue to use Tizen in its smartwatches, where Android doesn’t have the same headstart that it does in the smartphone market.