Samsung indefinitely delays the release of its first Tizen smartphone

Samsung Building (cropped)

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, 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.

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