Global smartphone leader Samsung Electronics is planning a new product launch next year based on its own Tizen operating system, the South Korean giant's strategic push to free itself from Android and blaze its own software path.
But after years of development and a handful of Tizen-powered smartwatches and cameras, the only product confirmed for a 2015 launch so far is a TV set.
While that may impress designers of smart homes, Samsung's failure to release a handset based on its own operating system is fueling skepticism about its ability to build a meaningful software alternative to Apple's iOS and Google's Android in the all-important mobile sector.
"To be honest the software that Samsung has made on its own so far have not been very good ... I have not yet seen anything to suggest that Samsung has become competitive in the software space," said Lee Min-hee, analyst at brokerage IM Investment and Securities.
Developers say that until there is a meaningful user base for Tizen they will have little incentive to make innovative software applications for the system, deemed crucial if Samsung is to convince wary consumers to try it out.
"I see it (Tizen) as very similar to Android but without the gigantic user base," said Brazil-based Eduardo Ribeiro, founder of app developer Kazoowa.com.
"With that, it is hard to find benefits in developing for Tizen."
Samsung's communications on the new system have only raised doubts further.
The company announced and then scrapped plans for a Tizen phone launch in Russia during the third quarter, citing the need to "further enhance the Tizen ecosystem".
Meanwhile source-based media reports have suggested for some time that a Tizen phone launch is imminent in India. In the latest example, the Korea Economic Daily on Friday said a low-end Tizen smartphone would debut in India on Jan. 18, citing an unnamed company source. Samsung declined to comment on the report.
"We have supported the Tizen platform for a long time and believe Tizen to be a good alternative mobile platform for consumers," the company said.