The arrival of Samsung’s Tizen OS for smartphones was a rather drawn out process, but its Tizen powered Z1 handset finally landed in the major Indian market back in January. Since then Tizen has exceeded initial industry expectations, grabbing some significant market share in its short time on the shelves.
According to anonymous industry sources, the Samsung Z1 has shifted over 500,000 units in the Indian market since launch, which isn’t bad for 6 months. Samsung had sold 100,000 Z1 smartphones in total back in February. Perhaps even more impressively, the Z1 managed to grab a 23.4 percent market share in Bangladesh during the first quarter of 2015.
Despite being powered by Samsung’s personalized OS, this early success is mostly due to the company’s aggressive pricing strategy in the fast growing Asian market. The Z1 launched for just Rs.5,700 ($95 US) in India.
Tizen isn’t just reserved for smartphones and wearables, Samsung is also using the OS to power a range of smart home appliances
The Z1 was initially supposed to debut in Russia, but this plan was scrapped in favour of the Indian and SE Asian markets, which are growing quickly based on demand for accessible, affordable smartphones. Samsung’s more lightweight Tizen OS has helped the company make the most out of the Z1’s more limited hardware.
Based on this better-than-expected performance, Samsung is apparently preparing a successor to the Z1 (the Z2?), which will launch in Russia, China, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Although a launch time frame has not been given.
Tizen isn’t just reserved for smartphones and wearables, Samsung is also using the OS to power a range of smart home appliances, including SUHD TVs, its Q9000 smart air conditioner, and the Chef Collection Refrigerator. The range of products powered by the OS is expected to continue to increase, as Samsung has placed it at the centre of its smart product line-up.
Samsung also appears keen to gather third party developer support for its Tizen platform, as it will be hosting a Tizen Developer Summit India 2015 in Bangalore this July and is also planning a Developer Conference in Shenzhen, China this September. A broader Tizen software development kit is also said to be in the works, which will expand on the SDK designed for Samsung’s wearable products that was unveiled back in March.
Tizen is gradually evolving into a wide-ranging platform for Samsung, and the company clearly has ambitious plans for its spin-off OS. We will likely continue to see Tizen help Samsung branch out into new business segments and it looks like bringing it to emerging markets has worked out quite well.