Samsung’s expected launch of Tizen powered smartphone in Russia put on hold

Samsung’s expected launch of Tizen powered smartphone in Russia put on hold
Tizen, Samsung’s home-baked mobile operating system, has been underdoing careful development for several years. We are not likely to see any Tizen powered smartphones in developed markets, rather, Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatch is the sole Tizen equipped gadget for now.

Samsung announced several months ago its intentions to launch a Tizen OS smartphone in India and Russia in the third quarter of this year (which we are currently in), but for Russia, there has been a change in plan.

Samsung announced today that its plans to launch the Samsung Z in Russia have been postponed due to the need to “further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem.” On the face of it, that looks like a clear indication that Samsung is looking to bolster the app portfolio for the Tizen operating system.  Given other setbacks though, it is likely something not so fundamental.

A revised timetable was not provided by Samsung, and no information was provided as to whether this changed any longer term plans for Tizen.  On the application side of things, Samsung has been encouraging developers to build apps for Tizen through a myriad of incentives, and in some cases, through direct cash infusions.

Despite those efforts, Samsung has been beset by changes in plans by its carrier partners and likely other factors. NTT DoCoMo in Japan canceled its planned launch of the Samsung ZeQ. Orange in France also hit pause on its Tizen device launch.

Just this past June in San Francisco, Samsung’s lead engineer on the Tizen project drew cheers from the developers in attendance when he confirmed a third-quarter launch for the Samsung Z in Russia. In another conference that followed in Moscow earlier this month, it was noted the planned launch was yanked. Now, one Russian based technology analyst says that his sources are telling him that Russia will not see the Samsung Z at all in 2014.

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No doubt that Samsung’s moves to bring Tizen to market are not going as planned. Not knowing all the details, the reasons are up to speculation, but seeing carrier partners like NTT DoCoMo and Orange take a step back certainly means it is more than just apps. It is quite possible they do not see room for a fifth operating system, and even if they did, it would be at the expense of whatever business is generated by iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. Other indicators could be economic in nature.  Or, those carriers were feeling pressure from Google, who we know is not so fond of Samsung's Tizen initiative.

As we learn what Samsung’s next move will be, we will pass it along.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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