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Samsung Selling First Tizen Phone in Q3, Luring Devs to Beef Up Ecosystem

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 9:59am
Ben Munson

Samsung has announced the Samsung Z, the first commercially available smartphone running the company’s home-baked Tizen operating system.

The Samsung Z will see release during the third quarter in Russia and will expand to other markets from there.

Users who snap up the Z when it launches will have access to the Tizen Store, the fledgling home for Tizen applications. Samsung is dangling a few carrots in front of developers to lure them to Tizen.

At launch the Tizen Store will offer a “special promotional program” to all developers for one year. Samsung is also planning Tizen applications challenges in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States countries to “enrich” the Tizen ecosystem.

While construction is under way on the Tizen Store, the Z will be on display starting June 3 at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco.

The phone itself, running Tizen 2.2.1, shows up with respectable specifications. The 4.8-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a 2.3 GHz processor, 16 GB of storage (expandable to 64 GB) and 2 GB of RAM, and 2,600 mAh battery sit under the hood. The device packs LTE Cat. 4 support, MIMO 2 x 2, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and the fingerprint scanner/heart-rate monitor featured on the Galaxy S5. The Z also comes with a slightly disappointing 8 megapixel rear camera. In addition to black, as with all smartphones of certain distinction, the Z comes in gold.

When the Z hits the market, it will join a growing portfolio of Samsung devices running Tizen. Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatches moved away from Android in favor of Tizen, and recent updates are moving first-generation Galaxy Gear smartwatches over to Tizen as well.

Samsung’s Tizen dreams are materializing as the handset giant sees its global smartphone dominance slipping slightly. Samsung shipped 89 million smartphones in the first quarter to claim 31 percent of the worldwide market, down annually from 32 percent.

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