Samsung Electronics has reportedly sold one million Tizen-powered smartphones in India, showing some (if not staggering) momentum for the fledgling platform.
The first device in the line – Z1 – is available in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and is priced as a “value” proposition rather than competing on features. While the lion’s share of sales come from India, Z1 is also believed to be performing well in Bangladesh.
According to Reuters, Samsung is planning to launch more Tizen-powered devices later this year, “at varying prices” – indicating a move up-market is likely. The current device targets feature-phone upgraders.
It has previously been suggested that Samsung is looking to offer a Tizen device for a global audience.
Samsung began developing Tizen as a means to mitigate the influence of Google in the most important areas of the smartphone stack – the services and applications used by consumers. But it has struggled to build any real content and apps ecosystem of its own in the face of the dominant Android platform – which powers by far the majority of Samsung’s smartphone sales.
The company has also cosied-up to Microsoft to provide access to the computing giant’s products and services.
But with the lack of Tizen devices in the market – the first smartphone was much delayed – Samsung has struggled to build up a supporting content and apps proposition for Tizen. This makes competition with Android devices an uphill struggle.
Samsung has looked to increase the penetration of Tizen by adopting it in devices such as wearables and smart TVs, where the alternative platforms are not as dominant (although that situation is changing rapidly).
However, with the benefits of a common platform for users coming where multiple products are owned from the same vendor, it is unclear how many buyers of a sub-$100 smartphone also own a smartwatch and smart TV.
In addition to which, the smartphone provides the central component in a user’s connected life, rather than a tablet, television or wearable, meaning that weakness of this component impairs the whole proposition.