Several years ago, Samsung started working on Tizen. They, along with just about everybody else, knew that Android wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. It’s even worse now, since Samsung wants to be a big player in both the enterprise market and the wearables market, but Android’s poor security and inefficiency makes it unsuitable for those markets.
So two weeks ago, after several delays, Samsung finally released the Z1, their first Tizen-based smartphone. It didn’t go well. Reuters reports that the phone made “a poor impression”. They quoted one Indian as saying it was “like a phone from 2010.”. Looking at the specs of the Z1, it’s hard to disagree. For example, it has a 3.15Mp rear camera and a 0.3Mp front-facing camera. Ouch.
Even worse, is Tizen. From the Reuters report:
Another problem for any Tizen-powered phone is Samsung’s failure to excite software developers to tailor applications like games for the platform, analysts said.
Samsung says more than 1,000 apps will be available for download in the Tizen Store, including popular social media network Facebook. Even so, that’s a tiny fraction of the offerings on Google Play.
That’s right, they’ll soon have more than 1,000 apps. When BB10 was launched in 2013, BlackBerry said they BB10 would have over 100,000 available at launch, and people laughed.
Now it’s a little too early to declare Tizen dead because of this initial cold reception. After all, the first Android phones were a joke when they were first released, yet makers like Samsung stuck with it for all these years. But it’s certainly not a good sign for Tizen, which many have predicted will die before it takes off.
The death of Tizen would be a huge opportunity for BB10. BB10 has proven itself in the enterprise, it’s more mature than Tizen, it has far more apps than Tizen, and it’s more suitable for wearables because it’s more efficient than Android. BB10 is just what Samsung needs.
Since BlackBerry and Samsung announced that they were working together and there were going to be more announcements of their collaboration, people have speculated that Samsung is going to license BB10 and start making BB10 devices. It goes without saying that that would be great. BlackBerry could stick to their plan of making phones with physical keyboards — Chen has previously said that BlackBerry would stick to making predominantly physical-keyboard phones — while Samsung makes devices for the average consumer like all-touch BB10 phones and tablets, BB10 wearables and BB10 consumer devices like SmartTVs and appliances.
Of course, a big question is how the carriers would react if Samsung released BB10 phones. Currently, carriers push Samsung phones, but they’ve turned their backs on BlackBerry in markets like the US, UK and Australia. Would carriers support BB10 phones made by Samsung ? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed, hoping that Samsung licenses BB10.