Samsung delays launch of Tizen smartphone

The phone running an alternative to Android was set to debut in Russia

Samsung Electronics said Monday that it would postpone the release of its first smartphone running the Tizen OS, the Samsung Z, which was set to launch first in Russia.

The delay does not bode well for the company's attempt to move away from its heavy reliance on Google's Android OS. Tizen is an open source, Linux-based system that the South Korean company is using to mount a challenge to dominant smartphone software players Google and Apple. When it announced the Samsung Z in June, it said that the device would be available in Russia in the third quarter.

Samsung said in an emailed statement that to "enhance the Tizen ecosystem," the company decided to delay the launch of the phone. It will continue to work with the Tizen Association in developing the OS, but it did not give specific timelines. Tizen Association members include handset manufacturers Fujitsu and Panasonic, mobile carriers DoCoMo, Orange and Vodafone, and chip maker Intel.

However, some Tizen supporters including DoCoMo and Orange have backed out of plans to carry the Tizen phone.

Samsung showed a prototype Samsung Z smartphone earlier this year at its developer conference in San Francisco, and planned to expand use of Tizen to television and other gadgets. So far, only the company's camera and smartwatch series, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, are built around Tizen.

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