After various reports within the Japanese press surfaced in the last few days all but confirming that Samsung and megacarrier NTT DoCoMo were planning to release Tizen-powered smartphones later this year in that market, Samsung has released a statement confirming its plans to do so earlier today to Bloomberg, but refused to elaborate further on the nature and scale of its partnership with DoCoMo.
“We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.”
With Google refocusing Android and consolidating its position as the chief steward of the operating system with the purchase of Motorola, other Android OEMs are understandably looking for alternatives or developing their own in the wake of Google taking back more control over the direction of the platform within recent months, in an attempt to compete directly with Apple.
With Samsung having the largest share of Android shipments and sales by volume in comparison to other Android smartphone manufacturers, the fact that it is seriously considering the release of an alternative to Android in one of the fastest growing markets for Android in Japan shows that Samsung is taking a measured approach to developing an alternative to Android for its devices, should Google continue its current direction with Android.
The current Nexus line competes with the rest of the Android smartphone market and the latest Nexus smartphone in the LG-manufactured Nexus 4 is an unqualified success for Google, with the device being frequently out of stock and Google subsequently being unable to keep up with demand, owing to its consumer-friendly pricing and unexpected price-to-performance ratio.
While Samsung has its own share of success with Android with its own Galaxy S series, the company is no stranger to developing its own alternative platforms for specific markets, as it previously developed and released devices based on its own internally developed operating system in Bada primarily for Eastern Europe and Russia, which was officially discontinued last Summer in favor of Tizen development.
This new development should also give a boost to Intel, as it also is seeking to carve out a niche for itself in mobile with its Android efforts despite being one of the main benefactors for Tizen initiative, following the fallout between itself and Nokia after it abandoned MeeGo in 2011, which led to the founding of Tizen.
Should Samsung and DoCoMo follow through on their plans, the tie-up does have the potential to become the third alternative to the BlackBerry and Android in Asia, as alternative platforms usually have a higher probability of success in Asia compared to other regions in the world.