Samsung delays the launch of first Tizen phone… again

Samsung’s first smartphone with a Tizen-based operating system was slated to launch in Russia this week. It didn’t.

The Wall Street Journal reports Samsung is now saying the Samung Z smartphone will launch in Russia later this year.

samsung z_03

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.

  • Michael Thompson

    Maybe stuff found in the ashes should like…be left there.

  • BoloMKXXVIII

    Not sure there really is a market for this. I know Samsung wants to “own” their own OS but who wants to move to a phone OS that has no apps? That is Microsoft & Blackberrys problem. I guess they can spend their way into the market like Microsoft is doing, but that is no guarantee of sucess. Touchwiz isn’t exactly loved by any who I have heard talk about it. Why copy what isn’t already liked? Seems like a huge money sink. They can’t even go after the cheap phone market as it is crowded these days.

    • Keith

      I see it as a tool for extorting concessions from Google. I doubt Tizen has any long term significance at all. What concessions? Hard to say, but I suspect it has more to do with retaining “product differentiation” such as Touchwiz and preinstalled Samsung cruft that duplicates generic offerings from Google and 3rd parties. Vendors like Samsung don’t want you to be able to update a device and use it for years, they want to sell you the same damned thing over and over and over again.

      • me

        Don’t other OEMs do that already without needing to threaten Google that they may use another OS?

      • k`

        Lots of them do. But starting at KitKat or so Google began to push back against overcustomization.

      • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

        Yes, but Samsung is big enough to try going all the way and developing their own competitor to Android. If it works, it gives them control over their own mobile platform. If it doesn’t, well, it was a few hundred million dollars down the drain — not much compared to their overall revenue.

  • me

    For me, I’m more interested in Ubuntu Touch because there’s a chance it’ll be more Linuxy out of the box. For example, Bash and Python scripts can automate and directly control hardware vs using the kludgy Tasker app with its cumbersome GUI based scripting tool. Use the more robust OpenSSH and other mature Linux utilties vs some okayish app in the Play store.

    As for Tizen, it looks like Samsung might not bundle those kinds of features and make not stand out much over existing mobile OS’s for my particular usage unless I go through and compile the utilties all myself from source or something. I have outdated info on this though so please provide links to to new and accurate info if this is not the case. Thanks!

    • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

      Why would Samsung be interested in supplying Linux tools for a phone they intend to be a mass market device? They are not interested in catering to the Linux enthusiast market, because it’s nowhere near large enough to be worth spending any money supporting. It’s only based on Linux because they don’t have to start from scratch with a brand new OS.

      • Tony R.

        The operating system in the phone is irrelevant for 99% of the people using them. They’ll never write a program for a phone or tablet and all they care about is the capabilities the device offers as-shipped. The size of the Linux enthusiast market isn’t a factor in the decision to produce a Tizen device; freedom from software patent infringement lawsuits is what drives it.