Earlier this year, we were holding out hope for seeing the first commercial Tizen-running smartphones debut this fall, but our expectations were eventually forced to shift forward into 2014. And while we have seen Tizen-based devices go up for sale, we haven’t been talking about phones. Well, 2014’s coming up on us fast, so when might we actually hope to see this hardware debut? Our eyes are firmly focused on the Mobile World Congress, as we get word today that invitations have been going out for “an exclusive sneak preview of the newest Tizen devices.”
While that doesn’t spell-out “commercial-focused smartphones,” that seems to be the obvious direction things are headed, and we’d frankly be surprised to learn that we’re talking about anything else. Now granted, having hardware ready for an expo is hardly the same thing as having that hardware in-box and ready to ship to retailers, but we’ll take what we can get at this point.
A lot of big players – and Samsung especially – have been sticking with their guns when it comes to the development of Tizen, but will smartphone users respond to a new, unfamiliar OS, or actively seek out new devices from established platforms? We were just talking about how difficult it’s been to create meaningful competition in the smartphone market; Tizen may have enormous resources behind it, but will that be enough?