Samsungseemingly laid to rest the possibility of launching a Tizen device, saying it had "no current plans" to market such a device. Hopes for a Tizen offering seemingly further weakened when Samsung signed a ten-year licensing agreement with Android OS-maker Google.
But a new leaked photo shows a near finished Tizen device, begging the question of perhaps Samsung is simply playing its cards close to its chest and letting the press believe what it wants them to.
The render shows the ZEQ 9000 (pronounced "zeke"). Reportedly this is the device that was set to launch on Japan's NTT Docomo Inc. (TYO:9437), under the SKU SC-03F. But earlier this month NTT Docomo officials told The Wall Street Journal, "The market is not big enough to support three operating systems at this time."
(Side Note: That hurts for Microsoft, the Mozilla Foundation, Blackberry, Ltd. (TSE:BB), too.)
But according to MovePlayer, a news blog in Samsung's home nation of South Korea, Samsung will look to release a single-SIM version under the SKU SM-Z9000 as a budget device in its home country, and an international dual-SIM global phone SKU SM-Z9005 in other regions later this year.
Reportedly Samsung will make the devices officials at a Feb. 23 press event at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
The UI shown in the leaked shots looks like a cross between the BlinkFeed UI seen in last year's HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) One (a skinned build of Android).
It also borrows some style elements from Microsoft's minimalist tile-based Windows Phone 8 UI.
It appears that circular app icons will be a key design element in the UI. In terms of skeumorphism (lighting effects), it falls somewhere between a gaudy, jewel-like appearance like older builds of iOS, and the hyper-flat iOS 7 and Windows Phone.
Not much is known about the Samsung Tizen device except its expected screen resolution (WXGA) and processor (a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, clocked at 2.3 GHz).
Tizen, like Google's Android OS and the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox OS, is built on a Linux kernel. Aside from Samsung, its biggest supporter has been Intel.