It looks like Samsung’s plan to distance itself from Android is finally taking shape.
The Tizen app store is now live across the globe, according to the Wall Street Journal, which means anyone with a Tizen-powered phone can download and use apps. But there’s just one tiny detail that’ll stop most of you from getting a Tizen phone. There’s currently only one model, the Z1, that runs Samsung’s homemade Tizen OS, and it’s only available in India and Bangladesh.
The Tizen Store is accessible around the world, however. So Samsung will likely want to leverage its hardware where its been successful, particularly in Asia, before perhaps offering it across the globe. Samsung probably wants to test how well its Tizen OS will fare in emerging markets first, which will also allow some time for app developers to add to the store — there are only 25 apps available in the Tizen store at this time.
Samsung has the monumental challenge of getting popular app developers to make apps for Tizen. Both BlackBerry and Microsoft have largely failed to entice enough app developers to make compatible apps for their respective platforms, and as a result, neither platform is anywhere near as popular as iOS or Android.
Microsoft recently announced it will offer a tool that allows Android and iOS app developers to easily convert their apps for Windows Phone 10, which may help phones running the Windows Phone platform gain more market share. But there’s no indication so far that Samsung will employ the same tactics.
There are obvious benefits to Samsung weaning itself off Android: Samsung would have more control over its device ecosystem, which could seamlessly link any of its smart products like phones, tablets, watches, TVs, and potentially even car entertainment systems. Another reason Samsung may want to continue developing its own mobile OS is to differentiate itself in the crowded, seemingly homogeneous inexpensive mobile device market and reduce the competition it faces, especially in emerging markets.