Samsung's Shin: First Tizen smartphone coming in Q3


Samsung Electronics co-CEO JK Shin said the manufacturer will release its first Tizen device during the third quarter of 2013, denying the move to embrace the Linux-based mobile operating system is related to any changes in its relationship with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Samsung's JK Shin shows off the company's new Galaxy S4.

Last month, Samsung announced it would sunset its own Bada mobile OS, merging it into Tizen--at that time, the firm said it planned to release "new, competitive Tizen devices within this year," but offered no additional specifics on timing. In an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal, Shin confirmed a third-quarter launch date but did reveal pricing.

Targeting multiple device categories including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems, Tizen combines open-source technologies with a standards-based HTML5 development environment, enabling the creation of device-independent, cross-platform mobile applications. The Linux Foundation hosts the Tizen platform, and Samsung and Intel head the technical steering committee developing the OS.

Samsung nevertheless remains synonymous with its Android smartphones: The company controls more than 42.5 percent of the worldwide Android market and unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, at a media event Thursday. Shin maintained that Google's decision to acquire rival handset maker Motorola Mobility has not dampened Samsung's interest in Android: "We have a good relationship with Google," he said, explaining that Samsung wants to offer a number of different mobile operating system choices to consumers and enterprise clients.

Last month, Samsung refuted reports that its Android sales dominance is fueling tensions with Google. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported Google executives are concerned that Samsung could leverage its size and scale to pressure Google to alter the nature of their Android relationship, but Nick DiCarlo--vice president of portfolio planning and product marketing at Samsung's U.S. mobile arm--disputed the notion, telling FierceWireless "My interpretation is that we're a good partner and we build strong products that promote the ecosystem."

Shin may have increased tensions with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), however. "Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft's Windows operating system aren't selling very well," he told the Journal. "There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we're also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products."

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

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