Samsung has confirmed it will begin shipping Tizen-based devices later this year. An earlier report was attributed to Samsung's carrier partner Docomo; this is the first official statement the OEM has made on the new platform appearing in its devices.
In an emailed statement released on Thursday, Samsung said:
We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions.
It is unclear if Samsung will put the new platform in low-end, mid-range, or high-end smartphones, or across the board.
The company also did not elaborate on prices or a timeframe for Tizen-based devices.
Tizen is a Linux-based operating system that arose out of the ashes of Nokia's MeeGo platform, which it had been developing with Intel. Samsung and Intel have taken over the development of Tizen, with the Linux Foundation is overseeing the project.
Byun Han Joon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities in Seoul, said by phone on Thursday:
The Tizen was born as Samsung hoped to lighten its growing dependence on Google on concerns that its top position in the smartphone market may weaken following the Google-Motorola tie-up. Intel always wanted to boost its presence in the mobile CPU market.
Many OEMs, not just Samsung, were concerned by Google's acquisition of Motorola, which the Internet giant has said was done primarily for Motorola Mobility's patents.
It's been Android, primarily, that has led to Samsung becoming the no. 1 cell phone manufacturer in the world. That being said, Samsung has been dabbling in bada devices (its own OS) as well as Windows Phone. If any OEM can handle still another platform it is Samsung.
One has to wonder how many platforms are enough, though. On Wednesday, Canonical unveiled Ubuntu for Android, and although there was no OEM or carrier listed as a committed partner, the company did say the first handset would come from a "high-end" Android manufacturer.
Could that be Samsung?