Last week we carried speculation from Japan that 2013 would finally see Samsung launch its first smartphone based on the Tizen open sourced operating system. Today the Korean firm has confirmed that the rumor is true.
Samsung — which is the world’s biggest seller of smartphones — released the following brief statement to Businessweek, although it does not confirm any details about the handsets or provide an indication of when it might become available, or where:
We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.
Japan’s DoCoMo is one of a number of operators that is backing the Tizen project, which will see handset customized to the needs (and desires) of a number of other operators and handset makers worldwide. The Japanese company is said to be first in line to release a Tizen-based Samsung device to the marketplace. Other high-profile backers include Intel, Vodafone and France Telecom, among others.
Samsung has risen to the smartphone industry summit thanks to its use of Android but the firm has committed to exploring other platforms, as it looks to balance itself and lessen its dependency on the Google-owned OS. Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola, and its re-entry into the hardware market, has led to many questioning its position as the owner of Android, and Samsung has also pledged to build devices based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform.
Tizen isn’t the only open sourced player in town. Yesterday Canonical launched its eagerly awaited Ubuntu mobile platform, while Sailfish is an operating system that emerged from Meego, the Linux-based system that Nokia initially developed, but kicked to the curb in favor of Windows Phone.
We’ll see what the year brings re Samsung’s upcoming Tizen devices. As we said last week, there’s a possibility that we may learn more at Mobile World Congress in February.
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