Samsung needs localized services for its Tizen phone to succeed in emerging markets

samsung-z-front-header_contentfullwidthSamsung is the most recognized phone brand in emerging markets (with an 88 percent level of recognition beating out Apple's 85 percent), but if the company wants to succeed in such territories -- which is where the freshly unveiled Tizen-powered Samsung Z is thought to be pitched, following the initial Russian launch -- then it will have to up its game in terms of services and localization.

That's the message from mobile marketing firm Upstream, which conducted a survey (in conjunction with Ovum) of developing markets entitled: The Next Mobile Frontier. The research was carried out across 4,500 consumers drawn from Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam.

35 percent of respondents said that mobile content is too expensive to purchase over their phone, and one in five didn't possess the necessary card, credit or debit, to enable purchasing.

One in four said they found it difficult to find the content they want on the app stores available on their phones, and 20 percent said that content they did find wasn't in their local language.

In other words, Samsung -- and other smartphone vendors targeting emerging markets -- needs to ensure its Tizen OS can deliver localized content with appropriate payment mechanics.

As to what apps respondents were most keen on? Social networking was the most wanted type of app, with 82 percent engaging in this arena, followed by 81 percent in terms of music apps, 78 percent for news, and 65 percent for gaming apps.

Health and education apps are also important for emerging markets, with 54 percent saying they would like improved access to healthcare information on their phone in the future, and 44 percent of respondents indicating they'd appreciate better access to education apps.

Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream, commented: "The launch of Tizen on Samsung handsets provides an exciting proposition for emerging market consumers, where accessibility to truly localized content and appropriate payment mechanics could at last become a reality. As handset manufacturers search for the most effective means of capturing brand loyalty of developing markets, they would do well to seriously assess whether the Western models used to disseminate content and services to consumers equates to fitting a round peg through a square hole".

Veremis further noted: "Samsung may well consider working with mobile network operators, who can provide a new way for emerging market consumers to access and pay for the content they require, using their pre-paid phone credit they on their handset".

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