Samsung Chooses Tizen As Alternative To Android

Samsung, the South Korean electronics manufacturer responsible for the best-selling Android-powered Galaxy S smartphone series, has confirmed it will release the first phones running the open source Tizen OS sometime this year.

Samsung previously announced it will merge its Bada mobile OS with Tizen, ensuring backwards compatibility.

Android owes a lot of its success to Samsung smartphones, but the position of the South Korean company became less comfortable after Google acquired Motorola Mobility and started manufacturing its own hardware.

Born free

Tizen is a free Linux-based OS that can run on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and even in-car entertainment systems. Its development is managed by the Linux Foundation, and guided by the Technical Steering Group, which so far consists of Samsung and Intel (which abandoned MeeGo in favour of Tizen).

Tizen aspires to create an open ecosystem focused around HTML5, and will be compatible with the upcoming Firefox OS and all Internet browsers. The Tizen Association, which brings together companies interested in implementing the OS, already includes Huawei, NTT DoCoMo, Sprint, Telefonica, Panasonic,Orangeand Vodafone Group.

“We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions,” announced Samsung in a statement on Thursday.

Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer by volume, with the majority of its devices running Android. In October 2012, the company announced record quarterly profits of $7.3 billion (£4.5bn) for the period between July and September, with around two thirds of this wealth generated by smartphone sales.

Analysts suggest that by adopting Tizen, the company is trying to distance itself from Google, which now makes its own Android handsets.

The features, price or availability of the Tizen smartphones are not currently available.

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Max Smolaks

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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