Samsung’s first smartphone with a Tizen-based operating system was slated to launch in Russia this week. It didn’t.
Tizen is a Linux-based operating system that grew out of the ashes of MeeGo (and Moblin and Maemo before that). Intel, Samsung, and the Linux Foundation are all involved in the project, and Samsung has been exploring ways to use the operating system to offer an alternative to Google Android — an alternative which Samsung has a lot more control over.
Samsung already ships smartwatches and cameras based on Tizen, but several attempts to bring a Tizen-based phone to market have been aborted or put on hold. Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo had planned to offer a Samsung phone with Tizen software… but those plans were put on hold earlier this year.
If the Samsung Z had launched as planned this week, it would have been the first Tizen phone to hit the streets. It’s a 4.8 inch smartphone with a 720p display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, and a user interface that should look familiar to anyone who’s used an Android phone with Samsung’s TouchWiz software.
Samsung still seems intent on releasing phones based on Tizen software eventually. And it might be a good idea to wait until the software is as perfect as it can be: it’s increasingly tough to make a splash in the increasingly crowded smartphone space. Launching a new software platform before it’s ready would be a big mistake.
But the longer Samsung takes to push its first Tizen phones out the door the more time there is for Android and other existing platforms to solidify their places.