Depending on the country you live in, you may not have seen or heard about Samsung's Tizen app store. That's about to change. The company -- which just regained the smartphone sales crown from Apple -- is expanding the Tizen store from two to 182 countries around the world.
Tizen Experts saw the email Samsung sent out to developers that support Samsung's Tizen platform, which shared the news. Clearly, this is just a step towards a more global presence for the store as Samsung will only allow free apps in the expanded locations for now.
Consumers in India and Bangladesh can actually purchase Tizen apps as those regions were the first to see the Samsung Z1, a Tizen-based smartphone, earlier this year. When compared to the Android-based flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets, the Z1 is far less powerful. It's also much less expensive and therefore affordable, currently priced at 4900 Indian Rupees, or $77.02 US Dollars.
Samsung began efforts on Tizen years ago, releasing the first version of its software in early 2012. The strategy was to create an alternative platform to Google Android so that Samsung could completely control the hardware and the software in its mobile devices. It took nearly three years, however, to launch the Z1; the company's first phone on the platform.
In that time, Samsung has built its success on Android -- the very platform it aimed to replace -- to become the top-selling smartphone brand in the world. And Android's app store has flourished, growing to more than 1.4 million apps as of February.
So Samsung is definitely late to the app store game here, even with the latest expansion effort. It's unlikely at this point for Tizen to meet Samsung's lofty ambitions, at least on smartphones.
The company knows this though. At January's Consumer Electronics Show, a Samsung keynote address underscored that the company would use it's Tizen platform to power not just mobile devices but also the Internet of Things product category. That means even if you use a Samsung smartphone based on Google Android today, you'll likely see Tizen in the future; either in your refrigerator, television, thermostat or other smart home product.