We’ve known for some time that Samsung is working on phones that will run its own “Tizen” operating system instead of Android. Don’t expect to see them any time soon though, as Samsung has just announced the cancellation of the first Tizen phone’s release.
The reasons behind making the phone is thought to be an attempt to “de-Google”, so that Samsung can become less reliant on Google, which makes the Android operating system. Unfortunately, as we predicted, launching a new platform is hard.
According to Forbes, the expected Autumn release in Russia has been cancelled because Samsung want to “further enhance the Tizen ecosystem” – which is code for “we don’t have any apps yet”.
The problem is that by abandoning Android, the handsets will not have the Instagrams, Twitters or Vines that phone users have come to expect – and until Tizen becomes popular, it will be stuck in the “chicken and egg” situation of not having enough users to encourage developers to make apps, and not having enough apps to encourage people to buy Tizen phones.
Where there is still a clear opportunity for Tizen is in wearables: as the market is so new and hasn’t grown hugely yet, Tizen smartwatches (like the Samsung Gear 2) could become the de-facto platform (like Android is for mobile) if Samsung plays its cards right. But Android Wear is quickly catching up.
So will Tizen ever see the light of day in phones? We’ll keep you posted.
By James O'Malley | July 29th, 2014