Samsung has announced its first Tizen-powered smartphone as the South Korean giant considers a future without Google and its Android operating system. Given its reliance on Android, though, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
The Samsung Z smartphone is the first on the Linux-based Tizen platform and boasts impressive specs including a 4.8in HD super AMOLED display and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor.
The Samsung Z also boasts a fingerprint scanner, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2.1MP front-facing camera. It has dimensions of 138.2x69.8x8.5mm and weighs 136g. Samsung said it would offer the device in black and gold and it will be available first in Russia in Q3, with other markets to follow.
DJ Lee, head of global sales for Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, touted the Tizen Z as step up in performance and usability from its existing devices.
"The Samsung Z integrates the power and adaptability of the Tizen platform, enabling users to browse the web faster and utilise applications more effectively," he said.
Samsung will have the Z on show at its Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco, from Tuesday, 3 June. This is the same week Apple is set to unveil a host of new innovations at its WWDC conference, including iOS 8, as the two firms continue to battle for market dominance.
It is Samsung's first move away from Android, as it considers a future free from the restraints of having to use Google's platform for all its devices.
However, Francisco Jerionimo, research director at IDC, said that while it was clear Samsung was keen to see how Tizen fared, it would not mark the end of its use of Android as the platform was too important to its future.
“This is not a major change in the Samsung strategy. They recently renewed their agreement with Google and are focused on Android. They have nothing to lose by trying Tizen out and seeing what happens but they must not lose focus on the market as competition is growing all the time,” he told V3.
“With Firefox OS and Windows Phone growing and Chinese vendors targeting the lower end markets Samsung needs to focus on Android."
Jerionimo said Samsung would want Tizen to be a success, but he ruled out the company ditching Android.
“Tizen does not bring anything new to end users. It’s the same type of style and design of Android but without the same applications,” he added.
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