Samsung Tizen phone delayed indefinitely as platform struggles for apps

While Samsung has enjoyed a great deal of success in the smartphone space with Android, the company has for some time been exploring the possibility of going its own way in the world. As Google continues to take greater control of the OS - through laying the groundwork for stricter design guidelines, for example, or preparing to launch its upcoming Silver program - Samsung has been toying with the idea of reducing its dependence on Google. 

Key to these efforts has been the development of its Tizen OS, although that process remains plagued by difficulties. Two months ago, the company announced plans to launch its first Tizen handset, the Samsung Z, but as The Wall Street Journal reports, those plans have now been delayed indefinitely. 

Samsung had previously stated that the Z would go on sale first in Russia in Q3 2014, before rolling out to other markets around the world. However, the company now says that those launch plans have been postponed, but - more significantly - it gave no indication at all of when the device might actually be released. 

The reason? Samsung did not say so explicitly, but it alluded to apps being the underlying problem - the company said that it wanted time to "further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem" before releasing the device. That's becoming a familiar tune from Samsung - earlier this month, it canceled the appearance of the Z at a Tizen developer conference in Russia, saying that the device would "appear on the Russian market later, when we can offer our users a fullest[sic] portfolio of applications." 

It's probably worth just letting that sink in for a moment: Samsung canceled the appearance of its only Tizen OS device at an event to get developers excited about creating apps for Tizen OS... and then essentially explained that the reason was because Tizen OS doesn't have enough apps

It's hardly surprising that the Tizen project has been so troubled with that kind of thinking. As Phonedog reports, the Samsung Z has already been delayed numerous times - originally slated for launch in mid-2013, it was pushed to the end of the year, and then delayed again in January, before finally appearing in June.

However, it now appears to be stuck in some sort of development limbo - Tizen has clearly struggled to gain developer support to flesh out its app offering, but it's hard to imagine devs being enthusiastic about creating apps for a platform that's still stuck at the starting line, while its rivals have run off into the distance. With carrier support waning too - Japan's largest operator, NTT DoCoMo, ditched its plans to offer Tizen devices earlier this year - Samsung faces a massive challenge in turning Tizen into a success. 

Nonetheless, it does have some incentive to make Tizen better to allow it to ditch Google's Android. Samsung's vice-chairman Jay Y Lee reportedly got a dressing down from Google CEO Larry Page earlier this month in a 'tense' meeting. Google is said to be displeased that Samsung has been focusing on Tizen OS for its wearables, instead of concentrating on Android Wear. 

Sources describe the relationship between Google and Samsung as "contentious", suggesting that while the two companies are all smiles in public, Samsung privately refers to Google as a "bully". 

Source: The Wall Street Journal | images 1 and 2 via Samsung

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Rumor: Lumia 730 to launch next month with Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 [Update]

Next Story

Apple has refreshed its MacBook Pros with updated specs, lowers the price

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I wonder why Samsung don't just add Alien Dalvik and let the phone run Android apps while the Tizen app market develops? Native Tizen apps will always run much faster than Android's Java apps so native Tizen will take over eventually.

This is likely what Larry Page was threatening Samsung with. Alien Dalvik's legality is dubious.

Major_Plonquer said,
I wonder why Samsung don't just add Alien Dalvik and let the phone run Android apps while the Tizen app market develops? Native Tizen apps will always run much faster than Android's Java apps so native Tizen will take over eventually.

This is likely what Larry Page was threatening Samsung with. Alien Dalvik's legality is dubious.

That strategy worked well for RIM.... wait, no it didn't.

The real problem with current Tizen is that is basically just an Android touchwiz UI-clone but the "premium" of not having any (real) apps.

The only people buying this I imagine to be those thinking they actually bought an Android phone (for many uninformed, Samsung = Android).
"Hey... look.. I bought a Samsung.... it must be the latest Android."

I guess that the return rate would be sky-high, as "Joe" will be very pi**ed off a second after suddenly realizing "OMG, Google Play is missing!". /facepalm

Dot Catrix said,
The real problem with current Tizen is that is basically just an Android touchwiz UI-clone but the "premium" of not having any (real) apps.

The only people buying this I imagine to be those thinking they actually bought an Android phone (for many uninformed, Samsung = Android).
"Hey... look.. I bought a Samsung.... it must be the latest Android."

I guess that the return rate would be sky-high, as "Joe" will be very pi**ed off a second after suddenly realizing "OMG, Google Play is missing!". /facepalm


You need to get out more. 65% of the world market is over here in Asia, not in dinky little backwater markets like the tiny USofA. Nobody, and I do mean nobody in Asia uses Google Play. In the biggest market of all, China, you will never even hear the name Google mentioned anywhere. People in Asia don't buy "Google phones" and they don't go to the Google store. They buy Samsung phones, others buy Xiaomi or HTC phones. People here don't give a damn about Android or any other OS. They want the brand.

Major_Plonquer said,

You need to get out more. 65% of the world market is over here in Asia, not in dinky little backwater markets like the tiny USofA. Nobody, and I do mean nobody in Asia uses Google Play. In the biggest market of all, China, you will never even hear the name Google mentioned anywhere. People in Asia don't buy "Google phones" and they don't go to the Google store. They buy Samsung phones, others buy Xiaomi or HTC phones. People here don't give a damn about Android or any other OS. They want the brand.

You consider a single country's market small vs. a continent? Shocking.

Like so many alternative OSes, this fails on ordinary consumer devices and only has a chance to exist by striking deals to be the platform for other types of products.

I believe Tizen is used for some in-vehicle computers/navis/media centers. They could possibly tackle a couple IoT devices, but other than that, I'm blanking. They might figure something out, but it won't be anything obvious.

The only how that this has any chance of working is if Samsung targets emerging markets such as Africa, Russia the applicable ones in South America. And literally gives phones away for free in an effort to grab market shares. Then and even then I still have to give it no chance, they will be battling directly with Android and in essence themselves since they are the largest Android phone producer.

".... Tizen has clearly struggled to gain developer support to flesh out its app offering, but it's hard to imagine devs being enthusiastic about creating apps for a platform that's still stuck at the starting line....."

This is exactly what I was thinking. If Microsoft had postponed the launch of Windows Phone until they had the apps available then we wouldn't have the app selection we have today, it might not be on par with Android but the point is that no one will develop for a platform that no one else can use.

Samsung, just release the damn device and let the development community decide whether to develop for Tizen or not!!!

No, seriously? Sigh!
Samsung was probably the only one thinking they should go forward with this silly idea.
The market has a hard time supporting 3 players.

techbeck said,
Good luck Samsung. WP had a hard time, and still is in some respect, and you will have an even harder time.

not quite, they can always pull an amazon and take android away from google. samsung holds all the cards as android is nothing but a badly written set of device drivers with the ecosystem being portable to branched versions of it. better yet, if you're a developer, you can't afford not to be in samsung phones so their store would be way more successful than amazon's

Yea, ok. So the fact that Kindle is losing ground, their phone didn't get good reviews....really doing wonders for Amazon. And people are getting sick of Samsung. Same crap every revision filled with fluff and not much excitement and never lives up to the hype Samsung gives their devices.

neonspark said,

not quite, they can always pull an amazon and take android away from google. samsung holds all the cards as android is nothing but a badly written set of device drivers with the ecosystem being portable to branched versions of it. better yet, if you're a developer, you can't afford not to be in samsung phones so their store would be way more successful than amazon's

Take Android away?

LOL.

techbeck said,
Good luck Samsung. WP had a hard time, and still is in some respect, and you will have an even harder time.

Samsung will be better making Windows Phone as Microsoft now allow any OEM to add WP to their products for free.

macoman said,

Samsung will be better making Windows Phone as Microsoft now allow any OEM to add WP to their products for free.

Yes, I know. But what does that have to do with the OP? Am I missing something?

techbeck said,

Yes, I know. But what does that have to do with the OP? Am I missing something?


That Tizen is dead on arrival and they better find another alternative.

Ahh, well. Yea. I dont think Tizen will take off. If it does, will be a struggle and take a while. Longer than WP. Yes, Samsung has the marketshare but they dont have the support/developers they need.