Samsung Delays First Tizen Phone

by Matt Klassen on July 4, 2013

The first Samsung phone slated to run Tizen, an open source operating system developed through a partnership of Intel and the Korean tech giant, will be delayed, according to those familiar with Samsung’s development plans. When Samsung first announced the development of Tizen, the company expected to launch the first phone running the new OS sometime this summer, between July and August, but revised expectations will see that date bumped back to sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.

While the delay certainly won’t hurt Samsung’s bottom line, as the company has built a strong global smartphone empire on the back of its Android-powered Galaxy lineup, as the Korean company is acutely aware, as each day passes Android becomes more and more dominant, meaning the road into the mobile market becomes that much more difficult to traverse for new entrants.

If successful, however, Tizen could eventually allow the company to wean itself off of Google’s Android teat, giving Samsung the one thing it has heretofore been unable to replicate from its rival Apple, control over its entire mobile operation.

As I’ve written before, Samsung and Intel are hoping their Tizen brainchild will succeed where MeeGo and almost every other Linux based platform has failed. But while those predecessors hit the mobile market in a time of undisputed Apple dominance, the advantage for Tizen is that Google’s Android platform has already managed to blaze a trail for open source customizable Linux-based platforms, meaning if Tizen ever achieves any market success, perhaps Google’s OS is really its own worst enemy.

For Google’s part, the search engine giant has clearly become uncomfortable with Samsung’s growing dominance, earlier this year reportedly meeting with other Android partners to quietly challenge them to produce devices that could lessen Samsung’s growing leverage over the entire Android ecosystem.

The open source Tizen OS was initially supposed to launch in Japan and France this summer, with no U.S.carriers having yet committed to Samsung’s ambitious new mobile project. That said, Sprint is a part of the Tizen alliance helping to develop the operating system, so there is the expectation that eventually the new Softbank acquisition will support Tizen phones once they come to market.

According to sources, the setback is due to delays in the development of the Tizen app store, which needs to be exemplary if the upstart hopes to compete with even the bottom feeders of the mobile market.

That said, knowing the difficult road ahead for Tizen, Samsung is expected to use the OS to immediately challenge the high end smartphone market, employing the company’s tried and tested brand of quick releases of smart products coupled with carpet bomb marketing. While many have unsuccessfully walked this road before, given its strong Samsung foundation there is hope that Tizen will succeed where others have failed.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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