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Samsung to launch Tizen OS phones first in Russia and India

Samsung will attempt once again to launch Tizen after partners Orange and NTT DoCoMo backed off plans to sell the phones.
By Ananth Baliga   |   May 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM   |   Comments

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SUWON, South Korea, May 12 (UPI) -- Samsung will release its Tizen OS phones, the company's own open-source operating system, in Russia and India, with no news of launches in other regions.

The phone maker is looking at a June release for the phones in Russia with no official launch date fixed for India, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team had confirmed to PCMag the phone will be sold in the second quarter.

Tizen, Samsung's in-house, Linux-based open source software, has already been incorporated into the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches but is not available with any smartphone so far.

According to the Journal, a Europe launch could have helped the new OS, as people in this region are less obsessed with OS labels and are just looking for good, affordable phones. Consumers in the U.S. are extremely loyal to either the iOS or Android operating systems, making it difficult to introduce the Tizen in that market.

"My take would be that there is more of an opportunity to drive volume in these markets as they don't depend on operator distribution or subsidies as the primary route to market," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.

While the Tizen Association has a lot of ground to make up, the foundation has been giving app developers money to increase the number of apps available to potential users.

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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