NTT DoCoMo's Tizen smartphone launch put on hold indefinitelyAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
We've been following Tizen for the better part of its existence, taking note of companies that join the Tizen Association and watching it develop into a consumer-ready platform. Earlier this month we heard that longtime backer NTT DoCoMo would finally bring Tizen smartphones to market in late March, but now it looks like our wait for a commercially available Tizen smartphone will continue past that timeframe.
An NTT DoCoMo spokesman has told The Wall Street Journal that the Japanese carrier has decided to put its Tizen launch plans on hold indefinitely, saying that the country's smartphone market simply isn't large enough to support the new OS alongside Android and iOS. The spokesman went on to say that it will continue to work to help develop Tizen-powered smartphones and that its recent decision to begin selling both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c after years of not carrying the devices did not play a role in its decision to put the Tizen launch on ice.
This bump in Tizen's road to to the consumer market isn't the first that the new platform has encountered. Last year we heard of problems with the Tizen app storefront that caused Samsung to delay its launch plans, and NTT DoCoMo had planned on pushing Tizen phones out to the public in Oct. 2013 before pushing that launch back itself.
Launching a new smartphone platform is no easy task, especially in a market dominated by Android and iOS, and so it's not a total surprise to see that Tizen is having some trouble getting off the ground. Phones powered by Tizen are expected to be shown off at Mobile World Congress at the end of February, so it'll be interesting to hear what the platform's major backers have to say about this latest delay and what other launch plans they may have.