Samsung announced Monday the launch of a new smartphone based on its own operating system, in a step towards independence from the Google Android platform that dominates its popular handsets. The Samsung Z, which has been specially developed to run on the Tizen platform, will go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year before reaching other markets, Samsung said in a statement.
The new smartphone will be unveiled Tuesday at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco. The vast majority of Samsung’s devices, including its flagship Galaxy S smartphones, use the Android operating system. The electronics giant has tried for years to strengthen its mobile software business as a genuine complement to its mighty device-making operations. Its first homegrown operating system — named Bada and launched in 2009 — largely flopped on a lukewarm response from app developers. Samsung worked with Intel to develop the Linux-based Tizen platform which is open-sourced — meaning hardware manufacturers that adopt it can freely tinker with the interface.
Tizen is the platform for Samsung’s Gear 2 smart watch launched in February, but the Samsung Z will be the first phone to use the operating system. “The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively,” D.J. Lee, Samsung’s head of global sales and marketing said in the statement. Samsung made more than 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the world last year, nearly twice the share of its archrival Apple. -samaa