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First Tizen smartphone delayed in Japan

Tom Morgan
17 Jan 2014
Tizen screenshot
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Japanese mobile network NTT DoCoMo has apparently shelved its plans to launch the first smartphone powered by the Tizen operating system

Bad news for anyone waiting for a new mobile operating system: Japanese mobile network NTT DoCoMo has decided to shelve plans to launch the first Tizen smartphone, citing a slow market that can't accommodate another operating system.

It's no secret that Samsung is working closely with Tizen on the new mobile operating system, which would mean the company would no longer have to rely on Google's Android OS, but it appears the software is further behind than originally thought and unlikely to make a dent in the smartphone market.

According to the Wall Street Journal, NTT DoCoMo had planned to launch a Tizen device in March, but those plans are now on hold until the demand for new handsets picks up again.

Research by IDC Japan showed that the Japanese smartphone market only grew 2.2% in the last quarter of 2013, and NTT DoCoMo feels this isn't enough to justify launching a brand-new operating system on to the public.

Officially Samsung is a Tizen partner rather than sole developer, but it has invested heavily in the operating system in the hope that it will provide greater control over its app ecosystem and allow for more direct contact with developers, rather than leaving such matters up to Google. This new delay is simply the latest of many, with Tizen handsets originally expected to appear in 2012.

There is a possibility that Tizen will be shown off at next month's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, where we will be able to judge how ready it is for consumers.

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