One of Samsung’s head strategists confirmed that the company would launch an Android Wear smartwatch this year, though Tizen remains a focus both in wearables and in smartphones.
Talking to Reuters, Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s strategy team, confirmed that an Android-powered smartwatch is scheduled for this year, though he declined to provide a timeline. When Android Wear launched last month, Samsung was mentioned as one of the initial partners developing smartwatches powered by Google’s new wearable-focused operating system. So far, Motorola and LG are the only partners that have showed off actual Android Wear products; other partners include HTC, Asus, as well as component providers like Broadcom, Qualcomm, and MediaTek.
Samsung also has its own smartwatch-ready operating system in Tizen, which powers the recently released Gear 2. Then there’s the Gear Fit, which runs a different OS that Samsung developed specifically for it. With Android Wear in the picture, it seems that Samsung is hedging its bets with multiple operating systems, in an effort to gain traction in the promising wearable industry.
Tizen is alive and kicking
Despite rumors of its demise, Tizen is alive and well, said Yoon Han-kil, with the first Tizen smartphone set to go on sale by the end of June. Yoon acknowledged that Samsung’s initial plans for Tizen didn’t work out, and blamed “poor market conditions” for a botched release in Japan.
Moving forward, Samsung will focus its Tizen strategy on just a few markets, said the executive.
The Samsung VP briefly touched on the Galaxy S5: “(The S5) is selling faster than the S4 so far, though it’s difficult to share specific numbers as we’re still at early stages”. Earlier this week, Samsung boasted high consumer interest for the Galaxy S5, especially in Europe, where some markets saw double the sales compared to the Galaxy S4 last year.
“S5 sales should be much better than the S4,” said Yoon. According to a company insider, Samsung hopes to ship 35 million Galaxy S5s to retailers and carriers in the next three months.