By AsiaToday reporter Kim Min-soo
Samsung Electronics is working to expand the ecosystem of its own operating system, Tizen. The existing Tizen platform has been limited to expensive devices like TVs and refrigerators. This year, the company aims to broaden the scope of the Tizen platform to low-end devices such as thermostats, scales and light bulbs for the realization of the IoT era where everything is connected to the internet.
◇ The expansion of mobile ecosystem reaches the limit - Shifting focus to IoT in home appliances
Samsung is making its bid for dominance in the IoT market with Tizen since it's not easy to enter into the smartphone market that is dominated by Apple's iOS and Google's android OS.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA), Samsung sold 70,000 Tizen smartphones in the first quarter, with a market share of 0% in the global market. This is even worse than before, with 2,900,000 units (0.2%) in 2015 and 980,000 units (0.1%) in 2016. At least, the market share in wearable appliance market is 19%, which is similar to that of Android (18%).
As a result, Samsung is turning from the mobile market to the IoT market, which includes home appliances and wearable devices. An official from Samsung said, "We will strengthen our support so that developers can develop Tizen operating IoT devices more easily."
Together with 30 partners, Samsung Electronics held Tizen Developer Conference (TDC) 2017 in San Francisco from May 16-17, where it revealed its new open source platform Tizen 4.0 and new Tizen IoT module ARTIK 053.
"While the existing linux-based Tizen platform was limited to high-end products such as TVs and mobile devices, the Tizen 4.0 has been extended to involve low-end products such as thermostats, scales, bulbs, and more. Developers are now able to more easily develop Tizen applications with popular programming languages," a Samsung official said.
Hyogun Lee, Executive Vice President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, said, "We believe that OS platform technology is still essential to the innovation of products and services. Our aim is to give more freedom and flexibility to developers."
◇ Tizen-powered Z4 smartphone launched in India
Samsung continues to launch Tizen-powered smartphones in India, the only growing smartphone market. Samsung launched Monday the Z4, the fourth Tizen-powered smartphone since the first Tizen smartphone, which was launched in January 2015.
Starting with India, Samsung will launch the new Tizen smartphone in Africa, Middle East, and Indonesia. The smartphone is priced at about $100, to compete with local low-priced smartphones.