Samsung may only put Tizen OS on cheap phones

Tizen’s difficult life continues. Samsung and Intel’s mobile operating system has been endlessly delayed, and the latest rumors say plans for the software have changed again — this time for the worst. According to Tizen Experts, Samsung has canceled plans to release the Samsung Z smartphone entirely, and is switching tactics for the software. Instead of putting Tizen onboard high-end phones, it’ll relegate it to low and mid-range phones, in an effort to win market share in countries like China.

Previously, Samsung saw Tizen as a direct competitor to Android, and a way for the company to decrease its reliance on Android and Google. The idea was to produce devices running Tizen that would challenge, albeit internally, the Galaxy S5 and its spin-offs. After languishing in development hell, Tizen eventually made it on to Samsung’s most recent smartwatches, and even as an update for the original Galaxy Gear watch.

Related: A high-end Tizen phone would be up against these three amazing Android phones

In June Samsung announced the Samsung Z, which was all set to become the first smartphone running Tizen to go on sale. Except it didn’t come out. The launch was indefinitely delayed, with Samsung saying it needed more time to grow the ecosystem.

If the talk of the Z being entirely canceled, and Tizen’s new home on cheaper hardware is true, then it does go slightly against this plan. For an app ecosystem to grow, it needs developers, and for developers to want to write apps, they need to be able to sell them. Cheap phones can potentially be big sellers, but users aren’t often big spenders, making it more difficult for Samsung to attract developers to Tizen.

We don’t expect Samsung to officially confirm any change in strategy for Tizen, but if it announces a budget Tizen phone later this year, we’ll have a good hint of its new strategy.

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