According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is getting ready to launch its first Tizen-based smartphones in Russia in the coming weeks. Samsung announced last month that it would launch two Tizen handsets this quarter, and that they will be targeted at emerging markets.
Samsung is looking to formally launch the Tizen smartphone in an "Unpacked" event in Moscow, according to the report. The company has launched devices like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 at previous "Unpacked" events. After launching the device in Moscow, Samsung will be bringing the handset to Indian shores. Samsung attempted to launch a Tizen device in Japan on NTT Docomo and in France on Orange's network earlier this year, but cancelled its plans, stating that the market conditions were poor.
Samsung has four Tizen devices in development: SM-Z500, SM-Z700, SM-Z900, and SM-Z910.— @evleaks (@evleaks) May 11, 2014
Four Tizen-powered handsets from Samsung may be on the way.
Samsung mentioned that it is set to launch two Tizen smartphones this quarter, but it looks like the manufacturer has more devices in the pipeline. Prolific leaker @evleaks stated that there are currently four Tizen devices under development at Samsung: SM-Z500, SM-Z700, SM-Z900, and SM-Z910. Rumors from last year (which was when Samsung was originally set to unveil its Tizen smartphone) indicated that the high-end device (SM-Z900) will be based off the Galaxy S4 and will be called the ZEQ 9000. Following the model number naming convention, it is likely that the SM-Z910 will also be a higher-end model, while the SM-Z500 and SM-Z700 may turn out to be mid-range offerings.
The shift to Tizen is borne out of a need to compete in the mid-tier segments in markets like India, where Samsung has struggled lately. While that may not be the case with its high-end models, Samsung may look to steal a chunk of market share from local vendors with its mid-range model. In an interview with Reuters last month, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team Yoon Han-kil said that for Tizen to be seen as a successful platform, it needs to "account for up to 15 percent of Samsung's total smartphone shipments."
Although Samsung is diversifying its product offerings this year with the launch of Tizen and Windows Phone devices, the manufacturer has reiterated that Android continues to remain its main business. To this effect, Samsung announced that it will launch a smartwatch running Google's Android Wear ecosystem later this year.