Orange not so hot on Tizen for 2013 anymore

imageMIS-Asia reports that alternate mobile operating system Tizen is not progressing to the market as smoothly as expected, and will be missing its 2013 launch date.

The Samsung-sponsored operating system includes elements from Nokia’s Meego and Limo, and is seen by many as Samsung’s strategy for escaping from Google’s influence.

If successful the OS would compete directly with Windows Phone for the 3rd place in the smartphone market, much like Samsung’s Bada did in 2012.

Fortunately is seems Windows Phone does not have anything to worry about in the short term, with Orange, one of the strongest backers of the project, saying handsets will not in fact launch with the OS in 2013 as earlier planned.

Orange Senior Vice President Mobile Multimedia and Devices Yves Maitre originally said handsets running the OS will launch in the second half of 2013, but now says launching Tizen handsets before the end of the year no longer makes sense, and that they could not predict when handsets would hit the market. The underlying strategy needed work, even if that unfortunately meant the first products had to be postponed, he said.

"We are reassessing our strategy together with the Tizen community on how to go to market and what that means in terms of features, price points and market positioning," Maitre said.

Part of the reason for the pullback is their experience with another smartphone challenger, Firefox OS, which initially have struggled with performance issues. The minimum smartphone users want is something that can compete with entry-level Android phones, including Orange’s in-house products, according to Maitre.

He noted that there were on-going discussions at an executive level about the OS, but reiterated that Orange is still intent on increasing competition among smartphone platforms by backing Windows Phone as well as Tizen.

We know at least one of those operating systems is ready and growing now, and will hopefully receive Orange’s undivided attention until Samsung finally delivers a usable offering.

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