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Samsung’s Japanese partner cancels plans for Tizen phones

Bad news for Samsung’s somewhat anticipated Android rival: Japan’s biggest carrier reportedly wants nothing to do with it. Recent rumors suggested that NTT DoCoMo would finally launch a Samsung smartphone powered by the new Tizen platform this coming March. It turns out that those were indeed the plans, but The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that the plans have been canceled.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. has shelved plans for a March launch of a smartphone featuring a new operating system called Tizen, dealing a blow to one of the platform’s key backers— Samsung Electronics Co. Japan’s largest mobile carrier said Friday that the Japanese smartphone market wasn’t growing fast enough for it to support a third mobile operating system, a reference to Apple Inc’s iOS operating system and Google Inc ‘s Android, which powers the majority of Samsung’s devices. In explaining its decision, DoCoMo cited research by IDC Japan showing the country’s smartphone market in the April-to-September period grew only 2.2% from a year earlier.

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