Tizen-powered Samsung Z delayed again – Will the OS make it in the end?

29 July 2014, 4:26 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Samsung's much-touted Tizen-powered smartphone is still not ready for prime time, as the company has again delayed the launch of the Samsung Z.

The Tizen operating system is Samsung's way of reducing its reliance on Google's Android OS. The company already used Tizen on its Gear wearables, but it was widely expected to make the Samsung Z commercially available as its very first Tizen-powered smartphone.

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Samsung has now announced that it still needs more time to "further enhance" the Tizen ecosystem before launching the smartphone.

While the news is disappointing, it's worth pointing out that this is not the first time Samsung delays the launch of its Tizen-powered smartphone. Earlier this year, the company was supposed to launch its Samsung Z in Japan, but ultimately canceled such plans. Carrier partner NTT DoCoMo said at the time that the launch got canceled over unfavorable market conditions. The Samsung Z was then supposed to hit the market in Russia in July, but the company again canceled everything just days before the purported launch.

Just to be clear, Samsung has already introduced its Tizen-powered smartphone back in early June, but the Samsung Z never actually made it to market. While it is official and specs details are available, the smartphone has yet to go on sale. This means that the Tizen OS has yet to prove its worth as a relevant platform for smartphones, despite Samsung's teasers and announcements.

"Samsung is committed to enhancing the mobile experience of consumers with innovation that is both personal and unique to their needs," DJ Lee, President and Head of Global Sales & Marketing Office, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, said in a press release back in June. "The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively."

With the latest delay, however, Samsung has offered no specific date for when its Tizen-powered smartphone may finally be ready to make its debut. Repeated delays usually spell bad news for product launches, as people eventually grow tired of waiting and shift their attention to rival offerings instead. If that will turn out to be the case with Tizen too, Samsung may have to keep relying on Android as heavily in the future as it did so far.

On the other hand, the relationship between Samsung and Google is reportedly worsening, as tensions over the use of Android are escalating. According to recent news, Google is getting increasingly frustrated with the way Samsung alters Android to boast its TouchWiz user interface.

That' why Samsung has been working on its own Tizen OS, aiming to push the platform onto more devices. The company already ditched Android in favor of Tizen with its Galaxy Gear smartwatches, but it still has a long way to go before making Tizen a viable alternative to Android.

So far Tizen has not raised quite as much interest as the company likely hoped for, and it remains to be seen whether it will ever be able to serve as a relevant rival to Android and iOS. The future of the operating system remains uncertain for now, with launch plans currently suspended, but we'll keep you up to date as soon as we hear more.

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