After lengthy delays and scaled back expectations, Samsung launched its low-cost Z1 handset in January; the company's first phone running on the Tizen mobile platform. Sales have been meager at best but that doesn't look like it will dissuade Samsung from moving forward with more Tizen handsets. A report on Wednesday says Samsung is working on not one, but two additional Tizen phones.
Tizen Experts shared the alleged details of the pair, with one unsurprisingly called the Samsung Z2 while the other phone is yet to be named. The site expects a more robust set of hardware compared to the Z1, including 1GB of memory, a quad-core processor -- most likely one of Samsung's own chips -- and higher resolution 540 x 960 touchscreen display.
The second, unnamed handset is reportedly a global flagship device with 4.8-inch 720p display, 2GB of memory, and an 8-megapixel camera. Unlike the current Samsung Z1 Tizen phone which is largely aimed at emerging markets, this model would have widespread availability in regions where smartphone penetration is already high: Korea, the U.S. and EU, as well as growing markets such as China and India.
If the Samsung Z1 is a pre-cursor to these potentially new phones, it should tell Samsung that trying to create an attractive alternative to Apple iOS, Google Android or Microsoft Windows Phone is a daunting task at this point in time.
But it's really Samsung's only play to break free from Google Android, which has helped propel the company into the world's top seller of smartphones. That's because Samsung can't fork -- or build its own version of Android with unique Samsung services in lieu of Google's -- the Android platform due to its agreements with Google. I'm sure Samsung isn't thrilled by that and we know that the European Community isn't a fan either: That's one of the primary antitrust accusations the EC just made against Google.
That leaves Samsung only two choices. It can keep using Google Android and reap few of the software or app ecosystem rewards or it can try its hand selling phones that run Tizen. Neither is a good one, but the latter has little chance of success and may not be worth the cost.