Samsung to Launch First Tizen Phones in Q2

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The Galaxy S5 just went on sale, but Samsung is already gearing up to debut two new smartphones that are not based on Android. The company has announced plans to launch the first handsets based on its own Tizen operating system, a platform it hopes will make up as much as 15 percent of sales.

Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, told Reuters in an interview that the first Tizen phone will be a high-end device and the second will be a mid-tier model designed to generate higher sales volumes.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8

Samsung previewed the latest version of its Tizen OS at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The software carriers over the look and feel of Samsung's TouchWiz overlay for Android devices, including the home screen widgets and notification window. So current Samsung phone owners should feel right at home.

It's no secret that Samsung wants to lessen its reliance on Google, especially since the two companies will be competing against each other in the wearables market. For instance, the new Gear 2 and Gear Neo smartwatches are powered by Tizen, even though Samsung has also announced that it will be making watches powered by Google's own Android Wear platform later this year.

The Samsung executive also says that he wants the Gear watches to work with all Android smartphones, which would be a shift from the company's current strategy. For now, the devices sync only with Samsung's own handsets.

As for the Galaxy S5, Yoon claims it is outselling last year's Galaxy S4 at this stage, and that Samsung made a strong effort to whittle down the number of apps and features.






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Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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