Samsung plans Q3 debut for first Tizen smartphone

Samsung detailed plans to launch its first Tizen-powered smartphone in the third quarter of 2014, however, analysts remain sceptical the device will be a success for the company.

The South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer will demonstrate the new smartphone--named Samsung Z--at the Tizen developer conference, which opens in San Francisco on Tuesday. It plans to launch the device in Russia in the third quarter before expanding into other markets.

The smartphone features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 2.3 GHz quadcore processor, and a biometric sensor for security.

DJ Lee, president and head of global sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics' Mobile Communications Business, said the smartphone will exploit the Tizen platform to enable consumers to "browse the web faster and utilize applications more effectively."

In a press statement, Samsung said the Tizen operating system offers improved memory management, faster startup times, and immediate multi-tasking capabilities. The Z smartphone can handle 2D and 3D graphics, and offers smoother scrolling and improved rendering when web browsing.

Samsung is one of 10 Tizen Association partners that are developing the opensource, Linux-based, operating system for smartphones and other connected devices. Other partners include Huawei, Intel, Orange, and Vodafone.

The South Korean vendor will offer promotional deals to application developers to encourage them to join its Tizen Store, and plans to run an app contest in Russia and CIS countries to boost application numbers when the Samsung Z launches.

While Samsung is confident Tizen will grow to become a viable alternative to the Android operating system that has powered its smartphones to the top of global sales charts, analysts are less convinced the opensource operating system will be a success for the company.

One South Korean analyst told Bloomberg the new device is unlikely to fuel a large rise in Samsung's smartphone sales, and added that the publicity surrounding the Samsung Z is more of a symbolic move by the company.

For more:
- see Samsung's press release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see the Tizen Association website

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