After my recent Twitter discussion I decided to put my Tizen forecasts on print. Just to recap the old ones:
- My assumption in February 2014 was that we don’t see a single Tizen phone sold during year 2014.  A hit as Samsung didn’t launch a Tizen phone until January 2015.
- In February 2015 I said that (verbatim): “my forecast is that Samsung will be only Tizen manufacturer (actual devices brought to market, not just “partnership agreements”) for the full year 2015 too.” 
Nothing remarkable there, lot’s of people made equal or better forecasts. I just thought I should keep you up with my past ones.
Year 2016 forecasts
This blog post shall start from my tweets:
Samsung will be the only brand to ship Tizen phones in 2016 And my humble view is this will mean 1 or 2 new phone models running Tizen from Samsung during the full year 2016
Let me be more precise: During the full year the actual store shelves will see one, plausibly two smartphones running Tizen OS, both will be from Samsung.
- We may hear announcements of some other brand “planning to use Tizen” but those promises will not materialize in 2016.
- We may hear Samsung promising ten more models but two at most will materialize in 2016.
- We may see developer devices, but they don’t count to my forecast as consumers can’t buy those from a store.
And of course we will see more Tizen TV sets, smart watches, etc. But in 2016 we will see at maximum two new smartphone models running Tizen OS being available to consumers (and if you demand me to pick only one number – then I say we will see one model only).
Tizen strategy (as it currently appears) is to have one operating system running all of Samsung products: washing machines, printers, TVs,… Just like Microsoft wants to see Windows 10 running in all kinds of devices, IoT included.
Tizen can’t run on every kind of device with a microprocessor; there is no point to make a PC running Tizen as there would be no market for such. PC OS race was finished and we have Windows-MacOS duopoly. Samsung is not even trying to do PC with Tizen. (Very similarly Microsoft wants to see Windows 10 everywhere and especially PCs but Microsoft is running short on washing machines etc.)
Now these both meet in smartphones where the race is practically over and Android-iOS duopoly is at place. Microsoft has pushed insane amount of money to their mobile OS and they hang below 2% market share already. Meanwhile BlackBerry already told us they will not ship a single phone running BlackBerry OS in 2016.
In its recent numbers Gartner estimated that in Q4 2015 Windows with its mere 4 million units sold was third largest OS (Behind Android and iOS) at 1.1% market share. The doomed BlackBerry OS was 4th, it sold 907 thousand units and was STILL bigger than all of the other OSes combined.
I say Samsung will keep Tizen for phones alive for another year because it gives a boost to the “Tizen everywhere” vision, but I don’t see them having much chance to grow in smartphone sales.
My stand has been (and will be) that Samsung will kill Tizen for smartphones before Microsoft kills Windows for smartphones. I don’t know if that will happen in 2016, 2017, 2018 or when…
…but it will happen before Microsoft does so.
(This is based on having two companies with the same problem and of them Samsung is the one with less sales and less cash to spend.)