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Analysts speculate Samsung may be trying to move away from Android on account of Motorola acquisition by Google.
Samsung has announced their intention of launching multiple handsets in 2013 powered by the new Tizen mobile OS. In a statement issued to Bloomberg, the Korea based phone maker said, “We plan to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year and will keep expanding the line-up depending on market conditions.”
Tizen is a Linux-based open-source operating system that can be used to power mobile phones and other devices such as smart TVs and in-vehicle entertainment systems. The Tizen standard is jointly governed by Intel and Samsung and was established in 2011 after Intel joined the project in September of that year.
Analysts close to Bloomberg have pointed out that Samsung's move may be a result of Google's increasing interest in mobile hardware highlighted by its acquisition of Motorola Mobility which made it important for the Korean company to reduce its dependence on the Android mobile OS. Intel has also made it clear that they are focussing heavily on the mobile and tablet segments and have already launched the Xolo X900 mobile phone, in collaboration with Lava.
Android has helped Samsung become the largest phone maker in the world and helped push its handsets such as the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note, to the peak of the popularity charts. However, Samsung has had problems popularizing home-brewed mobile operating systems before, as evidenced by the Bada OS, that has yet to see widespread adoption. Also, Tizen will have to face immense competition from not only Android and iOS but also Windows Phone and Blackberry OS, both of which are expected to introduce wholesale changes in the upcoming iterations of their mobile operating systems.
Sources: Bloomberg, Wikipedia