Samsung sells first Tizen phones

15/01/2015

Samsung first non-Android smartphones have gone on sale in India, using the electronics giant’s own operating system ‘Tizen’.

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The Z1 handsets are available in India for 5,700 rupees ($92; £60) and, according to the firm, offer faster boot times and longer-lasting battery life than many budget-priced rivals.

Samsung had previously planned to sell Tizen phones in Russia and Japan, but cancelled the launches.

Samsung is currently the world's bestselling manufacturer of handsets running Android,
The South Korean firm says it can provide up to eight hours of talktime or seven hours of non-stop video playback between charges.

To aid its appeal, the firm is also providing free access to Bollywood songs and movies for three months via tie-ups with local services Hungama, nexGTv and Box TV.

It has also struck a deal to provide 500 megabytes of included 3G data a month for half a year if the devices are used on Reliance or Aircel's local networks. By contrast Google's Android One scheme offers 200MB of Google Play downloads for six months if used on Bharti Airtel's network.

Samsung already uses Tizen to power several of its smartwatches - including its top-end curved Gear S - and cameras. It also announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month that all its new smart TVs would run off the platform.

The open-source operating system is based on Linux and uses the web language HTML5 as the focus for app development rather than native code, meaning software writers should it easy to work with.

Samsung cancelled the release of a Tizen-based smartphone in Russia last August saying it wanted more time to "enhance" the ecosystem - a decision interpreted by some to mean that it needed more apps.

The network NTT Docomo had earlier pulled plans to launch a Tizen-powered Samsung phone in Japan in March because it felt its local market could not sustain another operating system, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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