Blog Post

Samsung indefinitely delays the release of its first Tizen smartphone

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Samsung’s homegrown Tizen operating system has suffered yet another setback: On Monday, Samsung Electronics said that it is delaying sales of the Samsung Z in Russia. No new release date was announced.

Tizen, a Samsung-developed operating system based on MeeGo, has been installed on cameras and smartwatches, but has yet to make it onto a smartphone. Earlier this year, a Tizen launch was nixed in Japan after carriers pulled out, and a Tizen developer’s conference in Russia where the Samsung Z was set to be launched was cancelled after attendees learned there were no production devices at the event. Samsung said it will “continue to actively work with Tizen Association members to further develop both Tizen OS and the Tizen ecosystem.”

Samsung is the world leader in smartphone sales, but the vast majority of those devices run Android(s goog), and the development of Tizen and its app store is seen as a defensive move meant to limit Samsung’s reliance on Google. According to Samsung, Tizen is eventually going to run on televisions and appliances, in addition to mobile devices.

Fresh off a disappointing quarter which saw smartphone and tablet sales miss expectations, Samsung faces a fresh batch of challenges in the difficult mobile computer market: low-end Android devices from Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi are cutting into Samsung’s sales, and its display and microprocessor divisions, which supply smartphone components for the mobile division, are feeling trickle-down effects. Assuming developers embrace the operating system and develop apps for it, Tizen should be a welcome differentiator and bulwark against generic Android smartphones, if a device running it ever goes on sale.

4 Responses to “Samsung indefinitely delays the release of its first Tizen smartphone”

  1. Paul Franceus

    Why Tizen? Because if Samsung keeps doing Android only they will be commoditized out of the market eventually- Look at Windows PC developers – it’s been a race to the bottom with razor thin margins. Samsung has nothing to differentiate itself from the many other Android vendors.

    They are in a tough spot. The odds of success with this strategy are pretty slim. Developers will go where the money and eyeballs are which is iOS and Android. Samsung faces commoditization if they stick with Android, irrelevance if they don’t.

    • Blair MacGregor

      Margins will decline, yes. But I don’t think Samsung would be commoditized completely out of the market if they stuck with Android. Lenovo, for example, has been squeezed but continues to make quality laptops that Windows buyers want. Not all PC OEMs are created 100% equal.

      Going to Tizen would be like jumping off a cliff without a parachute. Quality App Store ecosystems are unbelievably important and unless they find a way for developers to easily convert Android apps to Tizen apps, they run the risk of looking like the Windows Phone ecosystem.

      Neither choice is great, for sure. But it may come down to choosing to having a less meaningful smartphone business with tighter margins or no meaningful smartphone business at all.

  2. Why do a Tizen phone? Samsung does quite well with high-end Android phones. Second only to Apple. Crazy to mess with that. Adding a new phone to an increasingly crowded low margin, low-end, business is crazier. Adding to fragmentation only aggregates developers, carriers, and everyone else in the ecosystem. Tizen would take business from Android more than from iOS or Windows Mobile,