Turns out it was a hugely smart move for Samsung to launch its homegrown operating system Tizen in the Indian market. The South Korean smartphone giant had originally aimed for the Russian market, but decided to target India and Southeast Asia instead, launching its first device, the Z1, running Tizen in January. Since then, Samsung has seen a decent amount of success with the Z1, and reports this week that it is launching a Z3 — also packed with Tizen — indicate that it is readying the Indian market for a web of Samsung-made devices, and looking ahead to the internet of things.
Reports noted over the summer that the Z1 garnered a 23.4% market share in Bangladesh during the first quarter of 2015; Samsung executives have mentioned that Tizen is gaining a lot of ground in the Indian budget phone sector. 23.4% is impressive for one quarter, especially considering that momentum is behind the juggernaut that is Android.
Although Android is a tough one to beat in most markets, the fact that Tizen has made such headway is a testament to how ripe India’s smartphone market still is. The low prices for the phones (Z1 was US$95 and the Z3 is US$131) has been the driver for these sales, as Samsung gears up to launch devices that will connect with these smartphones.
Indeed, Samsung has mentioned in the past that it eventually wants Tizen to run on multiple devices — TVs, tablets, and others — that would effectively give it a leg up on the internet-of-things market in India. Though India’s on-boarding will likely, again, have to do with price. (Not to mention the country’s general need to build out further web infrastructure to improve access and speeds.)
But why launch new products into a market with any other operating system than Android to begin with? After all, Android-devices demolish others in terms of sales. Samsung has been worried about its dependency on Google’s OS for some time, and has made no secret of wanting to branch out and see success with a separate OS. So far, it’s looking good.