There are not a lot of smartphones running Tizen OS out there. There is the Samsung Z1 launched in January 2015 and then the Samsung Z3 launched in October 2015. But Tizen isn’t just a smartphone OS. Samsung markets it as the “OS of everything”.
Tizen: OS of everything
But on to the matter at hand: Samsung will be bringing Tizen OS to three core African mobile markets – South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria – this year. The Samsung Galaxy Z2 will be the smartphone to do the honours.
Not So Successful
Till now, Tizen smartphones have been sold only in Asia, specifically Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung sold only three million Tizen smartphones in 2015. This is an insignificant number of phones in Samsung’s own total figures, and this puts Tizen OS behind floundering platforms like Windows Phone and BlackBerry in terms of global market share. Perhaps Tizen will outsell those two platforms this year, as Samsung makes a push for Africa.
In truth, Tizen smartphones are almost feature phones. While this makes them not quite appealing elsewhere, it might just be the trick pony for Africa where feature phones rule. Smartphones are selling more in Africa, but most owners are not exactly using them as smartphones. Perhaps it is with Tizen that feature phones will evolve into more capable devices – feature phones that look and act liek smartphones, but without the costs that go with purchasing and owning smartphones.
If Samsung pulls that off, Tizen OS will have a chance. If not, why on earth does anyone in South Africa, Kenya or Nigeria need or want Tizen smartphones? But this doesn’t sound like what Samsung has in mind. Samsung is said to be pushing for Tizen OS in those three African markets because of the growing 4G LTE coverage available ion those places. The Samsung Z2 will be a 4G LTE device. Africa’s feature phones are understandably prevalent on 2G networks. So, it does not appear that Samsung is targeting the feature phone market with this push.
Over to you, o ye mobilistas in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, do you need or want a 4G LTE smartphone running Tizen OS? What are your reasons for wanting or not wanting one? If you want one, at what price range?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.