The launch of the Linux-based Samsung Z has been delayed until ecosystem develops
Samsung has postponed the launch of the first smartphone running Tizen, claiming it needs more time to develop the open source operating system’s ecosystem.
The Samsung Z was due to be released during the third quarter of 2014, initially in Russia before expanding to other markets. However the device will now miss that launch window, increasing doubts about the future of the Tizen project.
“To further enhance Tizen ecosystem, Samsung plans to postpone the launch of Samsung Z in Russia,” a Samsung spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “Samsung will continue to actively work with Tizen Association members pursuing to further develop both Tizen OS and the Tizen ecosystem.”
Samsung launched its first Tizen devices, the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, but no smartphone running the platform has yet materialised. It had been believed that the South Korean manufacturer wanted to launch such a device to reduce its dependency on Android, which powers its current flagship Galaxy S5 handset.
The company been expected to launch a smartphone running Tizen last year, but this deadline was not met, leading to questions about the platform’s future. Despite some concerns, the Linux Association assured TechWeek Europe that the operating system was “alive and well” in an interview last year.
If Samsung’s explanation for the delay, that it wants to help build up the Tizen ecosystem, is true, is not an encouraging sign, given previous attempts to stimulate development. The Tizen Association has provided up to $4 million in prizes for participants in the Tizen App Challenge, while Samsung has also released the Gear SDKs to developers. If such initiatives have not helped the situation, then further delays are not likely to encourage developers to support the platform.
Should the Samsung Z ever see the light of day, users will benefit from many of the features included in the Samsung Galaxy S5, including the S Health application, ultra power saving mode, finger print sensor and download booster. The handset is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage that can be boosted by up to 64GB with a MicroSD card slot.
In an effort to make an unfamiliar operating system appeal to consumers, Samsung was hoping to tout Tizen’s improved memory management for faster startup times and multitasking, its customisation options, smoother scrolling and web browsing and support for 2D and 3D graphics.
Tizen is just one of a number of open source operating systems hoping to offer an alternative to the likes of iOS, Android and Windows Phone, with Firefox OS, Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Mobile all in various stages of development.
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