Samsung has further postponed the launch of its open source Tizen operating system on smartphones.
Until this morning, it was thought the Korean conglomerate would release the Samsung Z, the company’s first Tizen-operated smartphone, sometime in the third quarter of this year.
In a brief statement released today, Samsung hinted that the reason for the postponement is due to a lack of a competitive app ecosystem.
"To further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem, Samsung plans to postpone the launch of Samsung Z in Russia," said the company in a statement. "Samsung will continue to actively work with Tizen Association members to further develop both Tizen OS and the Tizen ecosystem."
Samsung was originally supposed to release the first smartphone running on its homemade OS in Russian markets on June 11, but postponed the release of the Samsung Z on the day of its launch event that drew 150 developers.
The company released a similar statement on the day of the scheduled event that read, "The smartphone will appear on the Russian market later, when we can offer our users [the] fullest portfolio of applications."
Samsung is the top worldwide vendor of Android devices and leads all smartphone vendors in overall market share.
Android and iOS are the top two mobile operating systems in terms of market share, according to IDC and, not coincidentally, the two operating systems have the two largest app ecosystems.
Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Xylotek Solutions, an Ontario-based solution provider, sees the postponement as a good move by Samsung if the app ecosystem for Tizen is not yet ready to make the platform competitive.
"When releasing a new operating system, it better be done right the first time," said Grosfield. "The most important part of a platform is the support from the app community. That is a pretty heavy decision made to delay it. There are probably some things [Samsung is] trying to find answers to before they release it."
The release of Tizen on a mobile device would push Samsung away from Google Android as it would be a competing platform.
Tizen already is running on Samsung smartwatches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, but the Korean company recently released the Samsung Gear Live, which runs on Android Wear.
The Tizen-operated Samsung Z was first shown off at the Tizen Developer Conference on June 3 in San Francisco, boasting a 4.8-inch HD display, a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 16 GB of internal storage.
But with Samsung since moving its smartwatches to Android, and postponing indefinitely the launch of a Tizen smartphone, will the Samsung Z ever see the light of day?
"It wouldn't surprise me if we didn't see it," Grosfield said. "If it just faded away and didn't see it, I wouldn't be surprised. Conversely, I wouldn't be surprised if we see it a week from now. There is a window of opportunity to release a product in a narrow competitive market. I think if they can come out with a viable product, right now is a great time to do so -- if they can release and accomplish their goals within three to six months. It would be an important thing in the mobile space. It would be a bit of a blow to Android sales."
PUBLISHED JULY 28, 2014