Samsung plans Android Wear watch and Tizen smartphone this year


Samsung plans to launch an Android Wear smartwatch alongside its Gear range, with addition plans to launch an ‘Android-less’ smartphone running on its own Tizen operating system.

In an interview with Reuters, the Korean company's senior VP for product strategy, Hankil Yoon, says that Samsung will introduce a new Android Wear smartwatch as well as a "high-end" Tizen smartphone this year.

Yoon explained that "Android "still needs to be our main business", despite the investment in Tizen.

Should Samsung launch an Android Wear device, it would go head to head with theLG G Watch and Motorola 360, along with the company's own wearables which either use Tizen or a completely custom operating system in the case of the Gear Fit.

Reuters also suggested Samsung wants the Gear smartwatches "eventually to become compatible with all Android-based smartphones", not just the limited number of Samsung handsets currently compatible with the wearable range, although there was no indication in the report of when that may happen. Should the company pull it off, it would fix one of our major complaints with the wearable range in its current state; not everyone wants to own a Samsung phone just to use a companion device.

Tizen plans

Despite the recent decision by Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo to shelve its planned release of a Samsung Tizen smartphone due to "poor market conditions", Samsung is pressing ahead with the Linux-based platform that it's been nurturing as an alternative to Google's Android.

"We had tried to launch [Tizen] with DoCoMo and Orange... but couldn't because of poor market conditions. We have changed our strategy and will release the phones in a few countries where we can do well," Yoon Han-kil, Samsung’s senior vice president of product strategy, told Reuters.

To be a success though, Yoon said Tizen would need to account for 15 percent of Samsung's total shipments. In 2013 that would have meant selling around 46 million Tizen smartphone — roughly the same number of devices that Huawei, Lenovo or LG sold last year.

Read the Reuters interview here

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