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It was supposed to be out by now: Samsung Z, the first smartphone to run the company’s homegrown mobile OS, Tizen. The last we heard about the Z was that its expected debut at Moscow’s Tizen Developers Conference hadn’t happened. Samsung was keeping quiet on the situation while app-makers hoped that the phone might actually come out soon and offer a return on their investment. Today, however, CNET reports that Samsung has officially delayed the debut of the Z indefinitely.

The post shares Samsung’s statement on the mysterious disappearance of the Z:

“To further enhance the Tizen ecosystem, Samsung plans to postpone the launch of Samsung Z in Russia. Samsung will continue to actively work with Tizen Association members pursuing to further develop both Tizen OS and the Tizen ecosystem.”

In short, that sounds like Samsung wants there to be more apps available to users right when the phone launches. This plan makes sense – after all, it’s better to release a phone with tons of apps available and draw in lots of new customers, rather than launch the phone and hope that developers start cranking out apps after the fact. Launching a smartphone running a new OS is a tricky business, since an OS is only as good as the apps it runs. As Windows Phone’s lack of widespread adoption proves, if there aren’t enough popular, must-have apps available, few people will bother with it.

At the same time, Samsung has been making moves for a while to try and populate the Tizen ecosystem, since all of its Gear smartwatches (with the exception of the Gear Live) run on Tizen. Lately, news has circulated about a growing rift between Samsung and Google over the former’s pursuit of Tizen. Samsung has even gone so far as to launch its own Galaxy Apps store, a clear move to try and siphon app-purchase money away from Google and into its own wallet. Samsung is betting big with Tizen, so it’s understandable that the company wants to get it right from the get go.

That said, the fact that there still aren’t enough Tizen apps to justify the launch of the smartphone, despite its line of Gear smartwatches, doesn’t bode well for the Android alternative. Will Samsung ever launch the Z? And if it does, will it have been worth the wait? Will it be a viable alternative to one of the most popular operating systems on the market? My gut says no, but more mobile competition makes for a more interesting landscape – so I hope I’m wrong.

[Source: CNET]

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