Samsung is expected to release a new smartphone, the SC-03F, their first smartphone to run on Tizen. Tizen is a new operating system that is designed to be low-cost, highly configurable, and make portable devices available to a much broader consumer base. The OS was developed initially to add more options to the mobile market, which is currently torn between iOS, Android and Windows, the latter having the least pull. Using Tizen, carriers could theoretically provide a competitive edge by making devices that are specifically tailored to a given user base, instead of devices that are meant to serve all. The Sc-03F is expected to be launched by NTT DoCoMo, which happens to be Japan’s largest wireless service provider, and has been recently approved by Japanese authorities.
After phone’s approval, the next rational step would be to reveal it to the public. However, according to SankeiBiz, a Japanese media source, the announcement of the device was in fact scheduled for January 16, but NTT DoCoMo pushed back the release without giving a reason to the public. The most logical assumption is that Tizen, in its infancy, is simply not ready to make a grand entry to the smartphone market. Another potential reason is that Samsung and NTT DoCoMo may be having some conflicts, as the previously Apple-free provider started carrying iPhones this December.
Besides its OS, very little is known about the SC-03F. However, Samsung does not intend to release Tizen devices in the US, at least for the time being. It looks like they are focusing solely on Asia and Europe for the time being. The big question is, just how much of a threat is this new OS to our beloved Android? It would seem that as long as Samsung and Google are maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship, the threat is minimal. Tizen serves Samsung as more of a backup, an OS ready to go in case their relationship with Google falls through, or if Samsung wants to release something that Android cannot or will not support. However, as sales of Samsung’s Android-based smartphones continue to soar, it would seem unlikely that Tizen will be a threat anytime soon.