Samsung finally launched the long-awaited Tizen-powered smartphone, Z1 (No Galaxy-branded phone), in India in January 2015. Equipped with rather modest specifications such as 3G support, 4-inch WVGA display, less than 1GB DRAM, 3MP rear-camera and 1,500 mAh battery, the Z1 is priced in the entry-tier (<US$100 wholesale) in a bid to appeal to first-time smartphone users in India, the world's third largest smartphone market. Samsung next launched the Z1 in Bangladesh at the first week of February.
According to the Global Smartphone Sales Forecast by Operating System for 88 Countries: 2007 to 2020 report, published by our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Tizen OS smartphones will account for less than 1% share of the global smartphone market in 2015, way behind leading operating systems such as Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
Samsung is planning on rolling out the Z1 to more developing countries, including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, in the coming months. Samsung has to compete against the likes of Android (Android One included), Firefox and WP-based smartphones, which are priced at similar levels or even lower than Z1. We guide that an insufficient number of applications (compared with Android) is the key area that Samsung must sort out as soon as possbile, to grow its Tizen ecosystem and make the Z1 more competitive. It will be possible to support Android appplications, either by installing an emulator, or by activating a virtual machine on somewhat higher-end apps processors later on, just like Blackberry Passport.
Samsung has already implemented its Tizen OS on many electronic devices in 2014, such as smart TVs, wearables and digital still cameras, so we expect this vendor to put more resources into enlarging the Tizen-based ecosystem in 2015 across all areas from mobile to office to automotive to home, to prepare for an emerging IoT world.