Samsung indefinitely puts the brakes on Tizen launch

Samsung indefinitely puts the brakes on Tizen launch

Summary: It's the Android-rival mobile operating system that never was. At least for now, anyway.

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Samsung is holding off its debut launch of its homegrown mobile operating system that aimed to rival Android.

Tizen, which was set to launch in Russia with the Samsung Z smartphone in the third quarter, will now not go on sale as the South Korean-based electronics giant aims to drum up support for its developer platform.

The software (and smartphone) was due to be paraded at a developers' conference in Moscow, but the device was scrapped, leaving developers unsure of the platform's status.

Samsung said in a brief statement on Monday:

"To further enhance Tizen ecosystem, Samsung plans to postpone the launch of Samsung Z in Russia. Samsung will continue to actively work with Tizen Association members pursuing to further develop both Tizen OS and the Tizen ecosystem."

In a nutshell, Tizen hasn't quite mustered up the support Samsung would have hoped, particularly with the developer community charged with building apps and services for the breakaway platform.

Samsung currently relies on Android as its sole device platform for its smartphones and tablets. But Samsung has been pushing hard for its own platform in order to gain greater share in the mobile operating system market.

Also, by planning to transition from Android to Tizen, it reduces Samsung's overall reliance on the platform while being able to carve out its own feature set of services for its users.

It's not to say that Tizen hasn't already been a success, as such. Samsung has already dished out prototype devices, such as televisions and smart watches, running the platform.

And it's not the first time Tizen has struggled to get off the starting line.

Earlier this year, Japan's NTT DoCoMo pulled its support and called off plans for a Samsung smartphone running the Tizen software. Some European operators have also toned down their support rhetoric in recent months.

Topics: Samsung, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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  • Just what we need - another OS and another app store

  • Tizen never made sense

    Samsung would be better off just forking android to create their own OS, similiar to what amazon does. Samsung could then create an app store that uses android apps that do not need google services to run, again like amazon does.
    • This would be a very big risk since in this way

      they have to leave Open Handset Alliance and never publish anything named android (as amazon does):!boQjXP
      • Samsung's horrible quality with bloatware

        Clearly showed that Tizen was a waste of everyones time. This was predictable years ago.
        • Many here predicted that

          And Samsungs bloatware isn't doing any favors for Android.

          I was shocked at how much better LG phones are.
    • and sell 1 million devices or so a quarter

      as amazon does.
    • Samsung is not a software co.

      Amazon has a lot of software developers who built their online infrastructure and then cloud services on top of that, from the ground up.

      Google is the same way- mostly software developers who built the services such as maps, location, docs and an app engine generic enough to serve their needs as well as their customers.

      Customers for these two companies are not only consumers but businesses who want to move a lot of their IT function to cloud but more importantly, other companies like themselves who sell their own services, a good example being netflix.

      Samsung should realize, if it hasn't already that changing the themes and widgets on the home screen is not quite the same as building all the services that Google or amazon have done for years.
  • Samsung could not do it

    Their whole phone division is parasitic, based on Google handing them something that works. They do not have the infrastructure nor the skills to make this viable.
    • I would say that about Google

      I would say that about Google and ripping off Java to make Android.
      Buster Friendly
  • This has been the story for years

    with Tizen and its forebearers such as Limo, meego, moblin, all have been superceeded, merged, whatever and then abadoned. Not so trivial to get a successful OS going.
    • Story of missed opportunity

      Nokia had a winner with the N9 and MeeGo but decided to shot itself in the foot instead anouncing the OS was being abandoned and Microsoft's OS was the future (chuckle) before even launching the phone.
  • I, for one, would like to see The Linux Foundation

    issue a statement in regards to Tizen. This would be a good way to nip all of the rumors in the bud.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • The writing is on the wall...

    With Samsung smartphones sales taking a fall, and with Samsung earnings also taking a dive, and with the entire smartphones market also meeting with sluggish sales, it definitely wasn't time for a new OS or ecosystem.

    Samsung is being cute by saying that they're just "postponing" until an ecosystems develops, but, they're just buying time until they have let the market absorb the news of the postponement, and then, they'll decide to finally scrap the whole experiment.

    No sense getting people's hopes up and ending up selling a few hundred thousand devices (or perhaps a few million), and then having to come back and announce the complete cancellation of the OS and ecosystem. Better to cut your losses early and not have to worry about a bunch of alienated users and plan providers.