Samsung smartphones certainly get people excited, à la Galaxy S4, but the company’s upcoming Tizen open-source operating system is a whole new animal. The company confirmed that it will come to consumers later this year.
“The Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile operations, said to Bloomberg. “The device will be the best product equipped with the best specifications.”
This will be one of Samsung’s three flagship handsets for 2013, with the other two being the recently announced Galaxy S4 and a successor to the Galaxy Note II. Samsung is one of 12 companies that plan to produce Tizen smartphones this year, along with Intel and Sprint. While Tizen-based handsets are not available globally just yet, the software will still boast “thousands” of applications, Tizen official Chase Perrin told Bloomberg.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Samsung launching a Tizen-based smartphone. At the end of 2012, The Daily Yomiuri reported that Samsung plans to launch the first Tizen handset on Japan’s DoCoMo network in 2013. The phone would be introduced on other networks globally at the same time. There is no word yet on pricing.
“Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hunger challengers that includes Microsoft, BlackBerry, Firefox and Tizen,” Strategy Analytics wrote in its report from January.
Samsung currently sells about a quarter of all mobile phones globally, the research firm also reported. The company shipped 2013 million smartphones in 2012, compared to Apple’s 135.8 million units.