Back in November 2013, the Tizen Association launched a Partner Program aimed to broaden Tizen support across a diverse set of connected device manufacturers, operators, application developers and independent software vendors. This initial list was comprised of 36 new members, including eBay, Konomi, McAfee, Panasonic, Sharp, The Weather Channel, TrendMico and a number of others.
"Each of the new members has the potential to join relevant Tizen Association Working Groups and to participate in Tizen Association meetings, giving them more insight and potential input into the development of the Tizen Operating System (OS)," the association stated.
Now in February 2014, the Tizen platform is still showing signs of life, as the Tizen Association is adding 15 new partners to the list. These include AccuWeather, Baidu, DynAgility, game developer Gamevil, SoftBank Mobile, wireless carrier Sprint, ZTE and several others.
"We're excited to be joining the Tizen Association. Our company's leadership team has played a fundamental role in many of the standards and software systems that drive today's Internet and connected device applications, and we look forward to being able to contribute our experience to the Tizen Platform," said Chuck Shotton, CTO of DynAgility.
Back in December, the press began receiving invitations to a Samsung event taking place on February 24, just one day before Mobile World Congress. The invite states that attendees will have an "exclusive sneak preview of the newest Tizen devices." Both Intel and Samsung will reportedly talk about the major milestones the new OS has achieved since the last Barcelona event.
Prior to that, sources indicated that the first Tizen phone was slated for 3Q 2013, but Samsung co-CEO JK Shin pushed back its release so that the company can get both the hardware and software perfect. The phone was then supposedly geared up for a January release, but that never happened.
Just last week, unnamed sources said that NTT DoCoMo, Japan's biggest telecommunications operator, was set to reveal a Tizen phone on its network in mid-January. Even the company's president, Kaoru Kato, rehearsed his presentation over the last month. But on the day the phone was supposed to go live, DoCoMo pulled the plug and shelved its plans.
Two weeks later, Kato told investors during DoCoMo's quarterly earnings call that the company plans to watch global market trends to decide on a Tizen launch. With news of Spain's Telefónica and France's Orange SA leaving the Association, the fate of Tizen became uncertain.
But according to the announcement on Wednesday, Sprint is now back on the Tizen bandwagon. The wireless carrier joined the Association back in 2012, but exited in 2013 to focus its resources on more "immediate" product launches. With Sprint and 14 other developers and carriers now pledging their support for the platform, the fledgling OS looks to have brighter days ahead.
Several Tizen devices are expected to be unveiled during World Mobile Congress later this month, so stay tuned.