Samsung on Wednesday launched its first smartphone using its home-grown Tizen operating system, aimed at breaking the South Korean electronics giant’s dependence on Google’s Android.
The Samsung Z1, which has 3G capability and a liquid-crystal display, was launched in India with a price tag of 5,700 rupees ($90), the world’s largest smartphone maker said in a statement.
The Tizen operating system is a key part of Samsung’s campaign to carve out a niche in mobile software and services, to complement its dominant hardware role. The Samsung Z, which was specially developed by Samsung to run on the Tizen platform, had initially been earmarked for launch in Russia in the second half of last year.
But the launch was pushed back in order to “further enhance the Tizen ecosystem”, the company said at the time. It was the latest in a series of delays for the Tizen rollout, which had originally been scheduled for 2012. The vast majority of Samsung’s popular devices, including its flagship Galaxy S smartphones, use the Android operating system. Samsung has touted Tizen as a platform not just for phones, but for a range of connected devices from home appliances to door locks and watches which could communicate with one another in the future.
The company unveiled its first-ever Tizen smart TVs at a consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas earlier this month. Tizen is a lightweight platform and the SZ is a slimmed down, relatively inexpensive device with a simple user interface and a focus on basic functions like phone calls and messaging. In a nod to the power of the Indian entertainment market, the phone comes with free access — for a three-month period — to a wide range of Bollywood movies, TV shows and music. -AFP