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Tizen names Sprint, SoftBank, ZTE as backers


Fledgling device platform Tizen picked up a number of new supporters, including a return to the fold for US operator Sprint and the addition of ambitious Chinese device maker ZTE.

The Tizen Association named 15 new supporters, with Sprint, its parent SoftBank Mobile, and ZTE the stand-out names.

Sprint previously signed as a backer in 2012, but The Wall Street Journal said it left in 2013 to focus on “more immediate product launches”.

The additional backers provide something of a boost for Tizen, which has largely been on the receiving end of negative press in recent months.

This time last year NTT Docomo, Orange and Samsung promised to commercialise Tizen handsets in the second half of 2013, which never came to fruition.

It was last month reported that Docomo had shelved a launch it was planning, due to the uncertain demand for a third platform in a Japanese market that is dominated by iOS and Android.

It has also been suggested that a thawing of the relationship between Samsung and Google had reduced the South Korean company’s drive to push the alternative platform.

While the Tizen Association has made similar announcements of new supporters before, the continued lack of commercial smartphones remains the big question mark.

Other new supporters announced today are AccuWeather, Acrodea, Baidu, CloudStreet, Cyberlightning. DynAgility, Gamevil, Inside Secure, Ixonos, Nomovok, Piceasoft and Red Bend Software.

“We are gaining support from all segments of the connected device ecosystem, as more organisations realize the opportunity in providing smartphones and connected devices globally from the high-end to the low-end of the market.”

“The convergence of knowledge will make Tizen a catalyst for providing more innovation not just in smartphones – every vendor and operator will have the ability to provide a huge variety of customisable services to their customer,” said Ryoichi Sugimura, a Tizen Association board member from NTT Docomo.

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