Samsung to Debut 'Tizen' Phones in India And Russia

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | May 14, 2014 10:03 PM EST

Samsung is expected to launch its Tizen-based smartphones in India and Russia, according to The WSJ.

The Tizen Developer Conference is set for June in San Francisco. If rumors are true, the information pertaining to the release could be an agenda. Also, Samsung is expected to host a launch event in Russia.

For those unfamiliar with Tizen, it is a Linux-based, open-source operating system from Samsung. Tizen-based devices are targeted keeping emerging markets in mind. The first Tizen-based smartphone was planned for 2012, but that never materialized for Samsung.

Existing Devices Based on Tizen

To quote an example, the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches are Tizen-based devices. These gadgets were received with positive reviews, although not widely used.

Why Tizen?

Samsung relies heavily on Google for its Android software. The company controls a whopping 65 percent of Android-based devices across the globe. Even though Samsung tweaks the interface with its TouchWiz UI, the key characteristics of the operating system are under the authority of the search giant. According to Mashable, the future direction of the software is shaped by Google and not Samsung.

Tizen's entry is expected to catapult Google's domination in the software platform. Having Tizen as a proprietary platform, Samsung can customize this platform the way it wants.

Why India and Russia?

Unlike Apple, Samsung has a massive presence in the emerging markets, especially in India. According to PCworld, India and Russia are the third and eighth largest mobile devices markets in the world.

Samsung hopes the low price range could attract the users from emerging markets, The WSJ claimed. Also, with Tizen, Samsung targets the first-time mobile users rather than the billions of already existing smartphone users worldwide.

Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics said, "We believe Samsung is taking a path of least resistance for Tizen. India and Russia are relatively open markets, where mobile operators have limited control over distribution channels. This makes it easier for Samsung to sell new Tizen models."

Will this bet pay off? What do you think of Tizen-based phones? Will this help reduce Google's dominance in the OS arena?

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