Sorry Samsung, first Tizen phone cancelled by network

The first Tizen phone has been cancelled as a Japanese phone network admits there's no room alongside Android and the iPhone.

Sorry Samsung, you're stuck with Android for a little bit longer. Plans for the first Tizen phone have been cancelled as a phone network in Japan admits there's no room for another player alongside Android and the iPhone.

"The market is not big enough to support three operating systems at this time," a spokesperson for Japanese phone network NTT Docomo told the Wall Street Journal.

Docomo's Tizen phone was set to launch in March, but the plan has been shelved. Although this is a blow to Samsung's nascent OS, Japan is a specific market. As a potential lower-cost alternative to Android, Tizen will probably be aimed more at larger emerging markets, such as China or India.  

First glimpsed in leaked screenshots, Tizen is expected to make its public debut next month at Mobile World Congress, the annual industry event where phone companies lay out their wares for the year.

Currently backed by Samsung, Intel, Orange and Vodafone among others, Tizen is a long-gestating operating system destined to power cameras, TVs, laptops, cars, and other gadgets as well as phones. Google's Android software has helped make Samsung the biggest phone manufacturer in the world, but Samsung wants an alternative option so it can stop funnelling your money through its phones into Google's pockets. It's that thinking that's motivating other Android rivals such as Firefox OS and Ubuntu for mobile.

"Tizen faces the dual hurdle of not only creating an ecosystem, but convincing partners that it’s not solely in the interests of one player, Samsung,” says industry expert Geoff Blaber of CCS Insight. "If Tizen struggles to secure broader manufacturer commitment beyond Samsung, the challenge for carriers is what supporting another platform really achieves. Success is likely to be heavily dependent on incentives from Samsung."

CNET will be in Barcelona in force at MWC to bring you news, previews, videos and hands-on first impressions of all the coolest new phones and tablets that will rock your world in 2014.

Is this a sign Tizen doesn't have a chance against Android, or will Tizen take Samsung to the next level? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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