Samsung has apparently dropped the Tizen-powered Z smartphone from its portfolio, following the shelving of its anticipated debut in Russia. According to Tizen Experts, the South Korean company is now focusing its efforts using the platform on two entry-level devices for emerging markets.
The news is hardly surprising: with continued delays, the device begins to look less competitive in the face of continued upgrades to devices powered by Android – including Samsung’s own products.
But the challenges faced by Samsung will not fundamentally be different in emerging markets to more developed regions. Competition is already tough, with a number of vendors offering low-cost Android products as well as devices powered by Firefox OS (and the proprietary platforms used in legacy Nokia-branded handsets should not be counted out in the short term).
And Samsung will also still need to build a content ecosystem to support its smartphones, the lack of which is believed to be behind the shelving of its Russian launch. While this may be less of an issue due to the less mature state of emerging markets, the fact that Android has a head-start still means it is a more appealing target for developers.
Meanwhile, Samsung is still pressing ahead with Tizen in its smartwatches, where Android does not have the same head-start that it does in the smartphone market.