Bloomberg News

Samsung to Sell Tizen-Based Handsets After Motorola Deal

January 03, 2013

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s largest seller of mobile phones, said it will start selling smartphones this year featuring the Tizen operating system backed by Intel Corp.

“We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the lineup depending on market conditions,” Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in an e- mailed statement today. The company didn’t elaborate on model specifications, prices or timeframe for their debut.

The new handsets will come as Samsung looks to reduce its reliance on Google (GOOG:US) Inc.’s Android operating system after the Internet search company acquired (GOOG:US) handset maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion in May. Executives from Intel, Samsung, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (9437) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) formed the Tizen Association last year to support the open-source software.

“The Tizen was born as Samsung hoped to lighten its growing dependence on Google on concerns that its top position in the smartphone market may weaken following the Google- Motorola tie-up,” Byun Han Joon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities in Seoul, said by phone today. “Intel always wanted to boost its presence in the mobile CPU market.”

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported Dec. 31 that Samsung will release a Tizen-based smartphone through wireless carrier NTT Docomo later this year. The newspaper cited sources it didn’t identify.

Google, Apple

Mountain View, California-based Google, operator of the world’s most-popular search engine, plans to devote more attention to mobile devices as its rivalry with Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) accelerates. Samsung is the biggest seller of devices running Android in the $219 billion global smartphone market.

Samsung reported record profit in the three months ended Sept. 30 amid surging sales of its Galaxy smartphone. More than two-thirds of the earnings were generated by the telecommunications business, according to the company.

Samsung shipped 56.9 million smartphones in the third quarter, giving it a record 35 percent market share, compared with 17 percent for Apple, researcher Strategy Analytics said in October. In total handset sales, including basic types, Samsung remained the top seller, researcher IDC said separately.

The LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation said in September 2011 they would jointly develop Tizen for use in devices including mobile phones and TVs.

Chase Perrin, an official with the San Ramon, California- based Tizen Association, said the group wouldn’t be able to immediately respond to an e-mail sent after regular business hours.

In 2009, Samsung released its Bada platform, which is mainly used in lower-end smartphones sold in Europe and emerging markets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jungah Lee in Seoul at jlee1361@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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