Tizen phones to hit India in days, but Nokia X likely to hit first

It’s the battle for the mid segment of India’s booming smartphone market, and it looks like Nokia X series may be the first to hit the market by a whisker, beating Samsung’s Tizen operating system.


According to sources, Samsung has exhibited its upcoming Tizen based smartphone to developers in India and the first of Samsung Tizen phones could be put up for sale by a prominent online retailer as early as in March.

The phones will be aimed fairly and squarely at the entry level smartphone market, with prices between Rs 5,000-10,000 apiece.

However, Nokia’s first Android phone, priced at around Rs 8,500, is likely to hit Indian stores over the next 15 days. In fact, Snapdeal, arguably India’s largest online retailer, has already started collecting email addresses of interested consumers to notify them of the launch when it happens.

As expected, Snapdeal’s promotion shows only the 4-inch Nokia X, and not the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL. The Nokia X+ is a slightly more powerful version of Nokia X, but will cost Rs 1,000 more. X plus has 768 MB of application memory, while X has only 512 MB. Besides Nokia X plus has a bundled 4 GB SD card, and some one or two enterprise features such as the ability to edit email attachments. But frankly, if you wanted all those features, you’d probably be buying something else, and not the X series in the first place.

Samsung Tizen, on the other hand, will be an entirely new beast. “It looks like it will be easier to create apps for Tizen.. the idea seems to be to target the 5,000 rupee range segment,” said a developer who had a chance to examine the new platform.

The following video from TizenExperts shows the developer preview phone experience.

Tizen, a product of Samsung’s collaboration with ZTE, NTT DoCoMo and others, is also built on top of Linux, but unlike the Java-based application development environment of Android, Tizen apps will primarily be written in the relatively simple and cross-platform HTML5 standard. Another HTML5-based application environment provider is the Firefox OS from Mozilla. While both Firefox OS and the Tizen operating system are at the nearly the same level of development, Tizen is likely to be launched in India ahead of the other.

India is a large market for Samsung, which is the biggest mobile brand in the country by far. However, decent Firefox OS-based smartphones would start at the Rs 2,500 range. The platform is also more likely to get vendor backing due to the fact that Mozilla is seen as a more neutral supplier of software by hardware makers who are not in the Tizen consortium.

Here’s a video on the Firefox OS.