Samsung plans to launch a new smartwatch running on Google’s Android Wear software and a high-end smartphone running on Samsung’s own Tizen OS this year according to Samsung’s senior vice president for product strategy Hankil Yoon in an interview with Reuters.
The first Gear smartwatch from Samsung ran on Google’s Android OS. With the recently released Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo Samsung decided to switch over to their own Tizen OS but in the interview with Reuters, Yoon has confirmed that the manufacturer is also releasing a smartwatch featuring Google’s recently announced Android Wear software which is designed specifically for wearables. The Android Wear-based smartwatch from Samsung is expected to come out “later this year.”
Other manufacturers including LG and Motorola have already revealed their Android Wear-based smartwatches to also come out this year. HTC, ASUS, and even Fossil are also among the brands developing devices featuring the wearable-centric Android Wear software.
Yoon also revealed that Samsung is working on a duo of Tizen-based smartphones; a high-end model to come out around the end of the second quarter of this year and a mid-range model with no release details.
Samsung previously tried to launch a Tizen-based smartphone but it never came to fruition but according to Yoon, Samsung is hoping to leverage Tizen for markets that Android can’t address.
“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 said.
Yoon also mentioned that the company is working on making their current selection of Tizen-based Gear smartwatches compatible with all Android-based smartphones aside from just their own devices.
Samsung’s moves, according to the interview, are due to the “slowing growth” in the high-end smartphone market with more and more Chinese brands like Huawei and Lenovo coming out with more competitively priced smartphone options.
“The slowing high-end market is indeed a concern for most manufacturers,” Yoon said.
“But we’re trying out a lot of new things like wearables, convergence with home devices and cars. I think there’ll be synergies here some day and it’ll eventually help us increase premium product sales longer term.”