Yesterday, news broke that Samsung would delay the release of the first smartphone running Tizen, a Linux-based operating system that the Korean company has been developing together with Intel and other partners.
According to the Korean website iNews, the reason for the delay of the device, widely thought to bear the GT-I8800 code number, would be the lack of a strong ecosystem of apps that users can install at launch. The GT-I8800, a phone that is similar to the Galaxy S3 when it comes to specs, was initially pegged to launch in the third quarter of 2013. However, the report claims that Samsung and Intel have postponed the phone’s debut by two months, in an effort to muster more apps and more support from developers.
But this delay may be more than a simple bump in the road for Tizen. Eldar Murtazin, the Russian tech blogger with connections deep inside the mobile industry, just tweeted that the Tizen project faces termination.
Tizen is almost dead. It isn't delay. That's cancel of the whole project. I doubt that samsung will launch more than one device for 2014
— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) July 3, 2013
Tizen is Samsung’s attempt to reduce its reliance on Android, which, although wildly successful, Samsung can’t control as much as it would like to. Intel helped Samsung for similar reasons – the chip giant was off to a late start in the mobile revolution, and control over a successful alternative to Android would have provided a major boost.
Some industry watchers have seen in Tizen a viable threat to Android, especially since a group of major international carriers have announced its support for the project. However, if Murtazin is onto something here, Tizen might be joining Bada, Meego, or Meltemi in the cemetery of failed operating systems.
In a follow up tweet, Murtazin alluded at what the future holds for Tizen:
It may be that not all the work of the Tizen team would be in vain, even if the operating system won’t make it to the market in the current form.
Would the untimely death of a potential competitor good for Android? What would happen if Android would kill all its competitors? My colleague Gary Sims attempts to answer these questions here.