Samsung Reportedly Launching First Tizen Phone in 2013

Samsung rules the Android roost, but it looks like the consumer electronics giant is one step closer to releasing its Plan B.  The Daily Yomiuri newspaper says that Samsung will begin selling its first Tizen-based smartphone on Japan’s DoCoMo network in 2013, with the handset being introduced on other networks around the world at the same time. Tizen is open source manufacturer- and mobile carrier-backed operating system that was built with mobile device and embedded applications in mind, similar to Android. 

Wait, if it’s similar to Android, why make a Tizen phone at all? Android (the OS) may be open source, but Google and the Open Handset Alliance keep firm control over Android (the brand). Anybody can grab code from the Android Open Source Project and create a customized operating system of their own—witness the Kindle Fire and Nook HD for examples—but if you stray too far from the official Golden Standard, Google and the OHA won’t allow you to use the Android trademark or access the Google Play app and store. Again, witness the Kindle Fire and Nook HD.

Therein lays the appeal of Tizen, whose supporters claim that the HTML5-based operating system will be truly open source and based on industry standards. In fact, it’s hosted by the Linux Foundation itself.

Samsung’s star has obviously risen with the ascending Android, but Google has its own skin in the hardware game with Motorola Mobility and the Nexus line, making it wise for Samsung to look for a backup basket or two for its oh-so-valuable eggs. The company staked a foothold in the Windows Phone space with the Ativ S, but Microsoft’s mobile OS only claims a sliver of the smartphone market.

The newspaper didn’t provide any other details about hardware specifics, possible pricing, or an anticipated release date. Other operating systems hoping to break the Apple/Android stranglehold on the mobile market in 2013 include Sailfish, a MeeGo-based OS that can allegedly run the bulk of existing Android apps, and Mozilla’s Firefox OS, another HTML5-based solution.

via The Next Web


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