Samsung unveils Tizen-based smart phone; may cut reliance on Android

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics said Thursday it will release smart televisions equipped with its new platform built around the Tizen operating system this year, as it seeks to lower its reliance on Google.

Samsung plans to launch multiple devices based on Linux-based mobile OS Tizen in 2013, the company has confirmed.

"We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions," Bloomberg Businessweek quoted Samsung as stating in an e-mail.

No details about the upcoming devices or their prices were disclosed.

Tizen is a Linux-based, open-source mobile operating system led by Samsung and Intel. It supports both Intel and ARM processors and its SDK and API allow developers to use HTML5 to write applications. Besides smart phones, it's aimed for use in tablets, GPS devices, netbooks, smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment devices.

The move could be related to Google's acquisition of Motorola, as Samsung may be looking to decrease reliance on Google's mobile OS, Android. Samsung already has a mobile OS of its own - Bada - but it voiced its intentions to shelve it in favor of Tizen. The company launched several Bada-based smart phones at the end of 2011, but none followed in 2012.

While Samsung has no issues with its current use of Google's Android operating system, the South Korean handset maker wishes to lessen its reliance on the Android operating system, according to Bloomberg.

Samsung confirmed it would sell handset models featuring the operating system, issuing an emailed statement: "We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions," the report pointed out.

Samsung's move comes at a time when California-based Google continues its push into the mobility market.

In late December, Japanese publication Yomiuri Shimbun reported that NTT Docomo - the country's largest mobile communications firm - had partnered with Samsung in order to release a Tizen device at the Mobile World Congress in February this year. Citing undisclosed sources, the publication said the ultimate aim of the venture was to form a business group that will rival Google and Apple, as well as bring back Docomo customers who have been leaving in their droves as the company does not offer iPhones.