A report has emerged claiming that Samsung is testing its Tizen operating system in all major European markets. It appears that the South Korean manufacturer could launch Tizen-powered smartphones in Europe over the next year.
Tizen is not completely alien to the European market, with the OS powering some of Samsung’s smart TVs and smartwatches that are on sale in the continent.
At present, though, Samsung sells only one smartphone that runs Tizen. The Samsung Z1 is a low-spec device which is available in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The report that Samsung is looking to expand its Tizen smartphone base into Europe has come via the usually reliable SamMobile.
In Europe, Samsung is well-known in particular for its high-end Android handsets, so the launch of a Tizen device would be a departure from its current smartphone strategy. However, the company is being squeezed at the premium end of the market, with sales of the Samsung Galaxy S6 having fallen short of expectations.
Launching entry-level or even mid-range devices in Europe with a fresh OS would be challenging, as the European smartphone market is highly mature.
Whilst there is a market for low-spec devices in Europe, the Samsung Z1 would not stand out amongst the existing competition.
The Samsung Z1 features a 4-inch 480 x 800 display, 768 MB RAM, a Spreadtrum SC7727S 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB internal storage, a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing VGA camera.
In the UK and mainland Europe right now it is easy to find a device with similar specs from a known band, at a relatively low price. For instance, the Sony Xperia E1 is currently available SIM free for £49.95 in the UK and €69.99 in Germany.
Even if it was priced competitively, the Samsung Z1 would not turn many heads in Europe. And in addition to the phone’s limited specs, the Tizen app store is not as fully featured as the Play Store, which ships with Android devices like the Sony Xperia E1.
Instead, the rumoured Samsung Z3 (SM-Z300H) may act as a launch model for Tizen in Europe. The phone could be released alongside Tizen 3.0, the forthcoming version of Samsung’s mobile OS.
The Samsung Z3 is rumoured to feature a 5-inch 720 Super AMOLED display, 1.5 GB RAM, a Spreadtrum SC7730S 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 8 GB internal storage, a microSD card slot and a 2,600 mAh battery. Specs along these lines would mean that the Samsung Z3 could potentially compete strongly against existing entry- to mid-range smartphones, in Europe.