According to a report on GigaOM, Samsung is indefinitely delaying the release of its first Tizen phone on order to beef up the application store. Is Samsung better off putting this effort out to pasture?
If you’ll remember, Tizen OS is the Samsung-developed operating system that the company supposedly envisions taking over their Android offerings some day. To this point, the release of the Samsung Z Tizen phone has seen nothing but delays.
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.”
Although the operating system has shipped with cameras and watches, the debut smartphone running the OS has yet to ship, surely a disappointment to Samsung internally. Despite their pole position for Android sales, Samsung would prefer to be less dependent on the Android operating system. On the heels of less-than-stellar quarterly numbers, Samsung is facing increased scrutiny on the mobile front.
Additionally, Samsung is feeling the heat from increased competition.
…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.
Could a new operating system succeed in this smartphone market? Dominated by Android and iOS, the smartphone market seems to be saturated with options. Those competitor operating systems that have vied for third place – Windows Phone and BlackBerry – have dealt with similar problems in the market. There just aren’t enough applications in their respective app stores.
At least Samsung realizes the importance of a strong app store, but will this period of delay really augment the app store enough to make it a formidable competitor? Both the Google Play Store and the App Store have built what seem like insurmountable leads, which is unfortunate – a strong third-place operating system would put pressure on the incumbents and increase innovation.