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Remember the Samsung Z? The Tizen-powered smartphone that was supposed to come out in Russia earlier this year, but never appeared? A new report from Reuters says that Samsung will be launching a Tizen-based smartphone – now called the Z1 – in India this very month.

There isn’t much else to the news, as it cites a report initially published in South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper today. Samsung itself hasn’t commented on the claim, meaning that, well, the Z, or Z1, or whatever it’s called now, might once again be a no-show.

Interestingly, this news comes on the heels of confirmation that Samsung’s J.K. Shin will remain in place as the company’s mobile division boss, quashing last week’s rumor that he’d be ousted from the position after Samsung got creamed in mobile sales this past quarter.

Samsung is smart to focus on the more minor territories to try and gain a foothold with Tizen – that is, if we accept that going with Tizen at all is a smart move. I’m of the belief that it’s not, plain and simple. The reason is that Android already has a pretty tight grip on the world of mobile devices, with Apple’s exclusive iOS devices coming in at number two. Windows Phone from Microsoft – Microsoft! A global powerhouse! – sits at a distant third. So how can Samsung even imagine that it has a chance of gaining traction with Tizen at all?

It’s been experimenting with the operating system since the release of its first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, last year. That device was more or less a dud, and the follow-ups, while interesting, have failed to ignite much interest from consumers. Part of the problem is that developers don’t have much incentive to create new apps for Tizen systems, because of the low potential for return on that investment. The other big problem is that the Tizen-based smartwatches Samsung has released only work on Galaxy smartphones, a subset of Android handsets, though an admittedly large one.

My point, however, is that Tizen so far has failed to catch on, and any possibility that it will slips further every day. At this point, it may be smarter for Samsung to cut its losses, stop investing in Tizen, and work on being the very best Android smartphone maker it can be. Stop dithering with an operating system that no one wants. You’re only digging your hole deeper, Samsung.

[Sources: Reuters, CNET]


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