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