After Google had acquired Motorola Mobility, it had been rumored for some time that Samsung would try to diversify its portfolio and now the leading Android smartphone-maker has announced that it would release multiple smartphone models running the Tizen operating system in 2013. The Tizen OS was formed out of Nokia’s and Intel’s abandoned MeeGo project, and Tizen is gaining traction with Samsung, Intel, and carriers who may want to decrease dependence on Android and Apple’s iOS.
Tizen is an open-source OS based on the Linux code.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Samsung says, “We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.” The company did not give any specifics on specs, models, or pricing of these devices.
It was previously reported that Samsung would debut a Tizen smartphone for Japan’s NTT DoCoMo network in the early part of 2013. In addition to NTT DoCoMo, U.S. carrier Sprint is also quietly watching the Tizen space.
In an effort to boost effort on app development of Tizen and strengthen the ecosystem, Samsung had confirmed previously that it would be rolling in its proprietary Bada OS with Tizen. The merged efforts would hopefully provide an attractive enough user base for developers to pay attention as Tizen would have to compete against iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry 10 this year.
After the Motorola acquisition, Google had gone on the offensive against its largest partner in that ecosystem. On Motorola’s homepage, Google is directly comparing the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD to the Galaxy S3 from Samsung, noting better battery life and other specs that make the Motorola phone a better choice for consumers. Also, it’s been recently rumored that Google is trying develop a new Xphone line for Motorola, and analysts are speculating that the Xphone isn’t an effort to compete against Apple’s iPhone, but more of a direct jab at Samsung.
In addition to making smartphones with Android, Samsung is also partnered with Microsoft in releasing some Windows Phone 8 handsets though Samsung isn’t seen as a major partner when compared to HTC and Nokia in the Microsoft ecosystem. The Tizen phones would help broaden Samsung’s portfolio.